Kenya: Young women urged to seek technology careers as world marks International Girls in ICT Day

Africa/Kanya/Author :Prudence Wanza/Source:

The calls for Girls and women to embrace technology careers have dominated this year’s International Girls in ICT Day with stakeholders decrying a skills gap in the sector, rated one of the fastest growing globally.

According to the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of ICT, Nadia Ahmed Abdalla, more young men are joining the ICT world than women because of stereotypes in the sector.

“I encourage young girls to join the ICT sector. A lot of times when people talk about ICT they talk about the young males who are there because it’s seen as a sector where only boys can thrive,” she stated

The CAS called upon young women to join the thriving sector especially during this period when the world is relying more on technology to stay connected and keep vital services and businesses ongoing due to the Corona virus pandemic.

“The covid-19 pandemic has shown us that the ICT world is the way forward, it is not the future any more, it is the present,” she said

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), half the world is still offline and most of those who lack access to digital technology are women and girls in developing countries.

Additionally, there exists a 17 percent gender gap in internet use thus denying women and girls opportunities to access education, find better-paid jobs, and start new businesses.

“Making technologies available to all is an essential part of building back stronger communities and economies, and addressing many of the world’s most pressing challenges.” Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations stated

The International Girls in ICT Day is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April.

This year’s theme is, ‘Connected Girls Creating Brighter Futures’

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Kenya: Phase two of Digital Literacy Programe to be rolled out soon

Africa/Kenya/26-03-2021/Author: Haniel Mengistu/Source:

ICT, Innovation and youth affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has hinted that phase two of the government’s Digital Literacy Programe (DLP) will be rolled out soon after solving budgetary delays with the Treasury.

The programme which was started by the government in 2013 aims at ensuring pupils in grade one  to three are able to use digital technology and communication tools in learning with an overarching objective of transforming learning in Kenya into a 21st Century education system.

“We are in the final stages to roll out phase two, there is an intersectional consultation and once the pending issues that mostly are budget issues we it will be unveiled,” Mucheru said.

“We have finished the first phase. In the second phase we have the Competence Based Curriculum  so we are now restructuring the programe to fit in in the new versus the previous one,” said Mucheru.

Mucheru however has said an inter-ministerial team is in the process of making final touches ahead of the official roll out that seeks to ensure learners ensure digital learning services.

The CS clarified that the DLP programme is implemented in phases and that construction of computer laboratories are one of the deliverables in phase two of the programme.

“There is budget involvements, so I believe once we are finished with treasury and education then I believe we will be able to roll out, as you know Moi university and Jomo Kenyatta University have already put up infrastructure and assembly of the programe but it was delayed by the covid-19 challenges,”Mucheru added.

The computer labs are meant to enable learners from the upper grades of class four to eight access computers for learning to ensure that there is inclusivity for all the learners.

About 21,630 primary schools countrywide have been equipped with the requisite infrastructure in phase one of the programe.

At the same time the senate standing committee on information and technology chairman Gideon Moi called for the fast tracking of implementation of pending technology programs to accelerate digital transformation.

Gideon Moi

“There’s need to scrutinize stalled projects especially in the Counties such as the County connectivity and the fibre optic backbone infrastructure, among others. This will facilitate a smoother transition to the new normal,” said Moi

This happens as a big portion of the Kenyan population now working from home and with students out of school at one point in 2020, the Internet has become a classroom, and a workplace where meeting space and business platforms are undertaken.

“The post-COVID-19 era has brought forward a new normal – one that will accelerate digital transformation in many areas. These include digital economy, digital finance, digital government, digital health, and digital education. Indeed, many Government organizations and businesses have already turned to digital platforms and digital solutions,” Said Moi.

He added “COVID-19 pandemic has exposed harsh fragilities and digital divides that have been allowed to develop for far too long. We are therefore, here too to find answers by taking into account the lessons learned and good practices gained during the COVID period,”.

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ATU and Mozilla sign MoU to promote rural ICT connectivity in Africa

Africa/04-10-2020/Autor(a) y Fuente:

The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and Mozilla have signed an MoU for a joint project that will promote rural ICT connectivity in the African region.

According to ATU Secretary General Mr. John OMO, the project, pegged on the usage of spectrum policy, regulations and practices is designed to ensure affordable access to communication across the continent.

“Everyone needs affordable access to communication. Access strategies that are not inclusive can end up magnifying the digital divide. This MoU acknowledges the need to urgently address access to spectrum in rural areas as a policy and regulatory issue in order to unlock innovation and investment as part of the strategy towards actualizing affordable rural access to communication,” he said.

For the African society, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided great momentum for this need given that rural connectivity in the continent remains a challenge to date with some areas lacking even basic voice connectivity.

This is despite the fact that more than 60% of Africa’s population is based in rural areas, a lot of which still lacks supportive infrastructures such as road access and energy. These factors render conventional service provisioning in these areas commercially unviable.

The CEO Mozilla Ms. Mitchell Baker emphasized that those with affordable phone/internet services have the advantage of access to the ever-increasing education resources, opportunities, services, and social safety nets such that the unconnected fall further behind just by standing still.

“Access strategies that do not target everyone can end up magnifying the digital divide,” she said.

The Internet today is a global resource open and accessible to all, and while half of the world is connected to the Internet, existing policy, regulatory, financial, and technical models do not fully cater for the poorer and more sparsely populated regions.

“Connecting the unconnected requires applying special policies, regulations and practices that cut across the full breadth of regulatory elements, such as licensing, roaming, pricing, with spectrum being a critical element,” said ATU Secretary General Mr. John OMO who further indicated that spectrum remains dramatically under-utilized in rural areas as existing operators make limited investments in those areas.

This project tailored in line with the strategic objectives of ATU and Mozilla’s Africa Programme, further recognizes the fact that some of the approaches to spectrum regulation, like auctions may act as a firewall to competition, creating a financial barrier for innovative, smaller service providers who could bring new technology and business models to rural service.

“I believe access to spectrum in underserved regions cannot be treated purely as an economic decision.  If citizens can’t take advantage of modern communications tools, an approach focused simply on auctions will amplify inequalities. Spectrum strategies need to reflect the urgency of making access to broadband both inclusive and affordable,” said Ms. Mitchell Baker, CEO, Mozilla.

The recommendations developed by the two parties will be presented at the 2021 Annual ATU Administrative Council meeting.

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Kenya: Magoha faults individuals who failed to implement laptop project

Africa/Kenya/16-08-2020/Author: Sarafina Robi/ Beth Nyaga/Source:

Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha has faulted individuals who failed to implement the Government’s laptop project that would have salvaged the current situation.

Magoha who was attending the start of a two-day stakeholders meeting on university reforms challenged institutions of higher learning to invest in online classes and address challenges of funding.

It is at this meeting that the Education CS took a swipe at individuals who he says failed to ensure the implementation of laptops for all school-going children which would have come in handy in ensuring learning continues as the nation battles the pandemic.

At the same time, he challenged universities to invest in virtual learning to ensure learning continues.

Magoha also took issue with what he termed as the flawed funding formula for Universities calling on the stakeholders to deliberate on sustainable financing of the institution as opposed to over-reliance on government financing.

He also called for greater autonomy at universities even as he hailed the move by 70 per cent of universities to adopt key COVID 19 measures as advised by the ministry.

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This comes after two days after the CS announced that 3000 private schools are set to benefit from a Ksh7 billion concessional loan from the government to support infrastructural development in readiness for schools reopening in January.

The loan is to be availed at an interest rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% will support areas like installation of ICT systems to ensure learning continues during the phased reopening of schools.

The loan will also be availed at an interest rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% and will be dependent on the absorption rate of an institution.

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To ensure social distancing during learning, schools will be expected to construct extra classrooms with availed funds.

Schools that will get the money will also be expected procure sanitary and hand-washing stations to ensure the highest levels of hygiene.

With schools expected to reopen in January, the government funds are also expected to cater to ICT infrastructure in readiness for a phased reopening.

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Parents urged to install controls for sites accessed by children

Africa/Kenya/01-12-2019/Author(a): Fiona Churu/Source:

The Communications Authority of Kenya is urging parents and guardians to be on the look-out on the content their children consumer online, especially during these long holidays.

Acting Director General Mercy Wanjau says the national cyber-security centre had observed a sharp increase in the number of cyber-threats and incidents in the country.

Kenya has been witnessing a sharp increase in cyber attacks which has prompted the Communications Authority of Kenya to advice parents and guardians to guide and install controls on sites their children can access content from.

This is in addition to a number of online and physical Children Online Protection materials that exist which could assist parents and guardians guarantee the safety of children online.

Embu residents have at least 88 percent coverage of 2G and 3G mobile connectivity, which officials say could be harnessed to boost food productivity.

Wambora urged CA to facilitate basic connectivity to underserved areas in Embu to ensure residents enjoy the transformative power of ICT.

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Our younger pupils also use ICT

By:Ana María Losada Antón/

There is a wide variety of educational resources that we can explore in the classroom. The most important thing is to have a learning objective according to the cognitive development and maturity of the children, with a constructive use of new technologies.

Despite the growing effort by many teachers to incorporate didactic information technologies into the preschool classroom, their use has been limited to educational computer games and the projection of videos on smart boards.

However, there are other educational resources that we can also explore in the classroom, which do not require an exorbitant budget. For this, a clear learning objective according to the children’s cognitive development and maturity is absolutely necessary. Also, as teachers, we must be aware that we are educating our little digital natives in the appropriate and constructive use of new technologies.

Nowadays, there are multiple educational platforms and teacher blogs, such as Mi aula de infantil and La clase de Miren, as well as social network groups where we can find the good practices of teachers who are experienced in the use of educational technologies, such as tablets, mobile devices, smart boards and robots, and which serve as a model and an inspiration for our own performance. Moreover, these resources confirm that any content can be addressed using a technological tool with an educational objective.

“There are other educational resources that we can also explore in the classroom, which do not require an exorbitant budget.”

In my classroom I try to use a variety of technological tools as an additional resource, never as the only one, to accomplish the learning objectives in different areas. Augmented reality applications such as Quiver or Chromville, for example, help us to work on diverse subject-related aspects and interaction with the environment. Students are amazed to see how their own creations (a human body, a winter landscape or a world map they have just colored) come to life on paper. Apart from being motivating, they facilitate learning by offering a more real approach and providing students with a 3-D view of a globe or the human body.

QR codes are also very useful at this stage to disseminate all types of information related to daily life in the classroom. Some application examples are: indications on our ongoing project, new clues, secrets about our classroom pet, among others. A simple initiative is to include a code on a piece of cardboard for children to take home and, using a phone or tablet, they can reveal to their family the hidden recording of a poem recitation, a dance, a song or a photo album, thus disseminating their own creations and classwork. QR codes can also be allies for working on diverse curricular content. We can use them as word decoders in a reading and writing game, inserting next to the word or phrase a code that will show children an image of what they have read, so they can check for themselves whether or not they got it right.

Preschoolers can also have fun with basic programming and robotics tools in the classroom. As a starting point, using only their own body instead of technological resources, we can introduce students to the concept of programming through a motor skills game that allows them to discover how an action or an order generates a specific movement. In this way, we transform the children into little robots that move over a grid drawn on the floor, by following the instructions their classmates give them through cards with directional arrows. Then we can move on to more complex board games such as Robot Turtles (ages 4 and up) and finally use small robots such as Bee-Boot or Robot Mouse that can easily be found in stores and online.

“I try to use a variety of technological tools as an additional resource, never as the only one, to accomplish the learning objectives in different areas. ”

These tools encourage problem solving, spatial organization and logical thinking, while we work on content such as vocabulary, numbers, counting, or reading cartoons and images.

The experience of integrating this type of tools into the preschool classroom has allowed me to observe, on the one hand, their enormous didactic potential and, on the other, that children feel incredibly comfortable and confident in this area, but with the supervision of the teacher.

Mobile devices form part of our little pupils’ daily lives and are, in many cases, readily available to them. Even though they appear to have mastered them technically, good technical management is not indicative of proper, constructive and responsible use. Our duty is precisely to teach and impress upon them their proper use from an early age, bearing in mind that these devices will be around throughout their lives. Consequently, incorporating technological tools with appropriate teaching methodologies is essential, making them a natural part of daily life at school.

To develop students’ digital literacy, we first need to be aware of our own shortcomings and become, fearlessly and confidently, the first learners.

I would like to invite all teachers to reflect together on how we are using ICT. To do so, we need to be trained and have the capacity to step outside our comfort zone, in order to discover the magic that is generated in the educational experience once the panic zone has been overcome.

About the author

Ana María Losada Antón ( holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a diploma in preschool education. She teaches at Colegio Público de Toledo, Castilla – La Mancha (Spain) and is also a member of the collaborative group Bricolaje Digital, created to integrate digital tools in schools and reflect on new educational trends.


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Het onderwijs in Nederland wordt meer en meer een sorteerfabriek

Nederland / 4 maart 2018 / author: / bron: joop.bnnvara

Ondanks gelijke intelligentie valt het middelbare schooladvies voor kinderen uit laagopgeleide gezinnen gemiddeld lager uit

Een lange slungelige jongen met pretoogjes die stiekem shagjes rookte op het schoolplein. Hij was mijn leerling op een school voor kinderen met ernstige gedragsproblemen. Op een dag gooide hij zijn boeken door de klas en riep: ‘Op deze k*tschool kom ik toch niet verder dan de McDonald’s. Dus waarom zou ik mijn best doen?’ Hij droomde ervan om iets met ICT te doen. In plaats van boos te worden besloot ik hem te helpen. Faoud ging naar de basisopleiding ICT van Gilde Opleidingen en stapelde zijn ICT-diploma’s. Op een dag kreeg ik een berichtje van Faoud: ‘ Joost, ik ga in Eindhoven ICT studeren! Je was de eerste die in mij geloofde! Dankjewel!’ Want dat is wat sociaaldemocraten proberen te doen, mensen verheffen. Proberen om van een dubbeltje een kwartje te maken.

Na 50 jaar meritocratie groeit de kloof tussen hoogopgeleid en laagopgeleid. De Onderwijsinspectie vergeleek leerlingen met hetzelfde IQ en vond grote verschillen. Ondanks gelijke intelligentie valt het middelbare schooladvies voor kinderen uit laagopgeleide gezinnen gemiddeld lager uit. Niet alleen het ouderlijk nest is sterk bepalend voor de toekomst van kinderen, ook de plaats waar dat nest staat speelt een belangrijke rol. Zoals bij Faoud: PDD-NOS, buitenlandse afkomst, woonachtig in een volksbuurt. Het onderwijs in Nederland wordt meer en meer een sorteerfabriek in plaats van de emancipeermachine waar we trots op zijn. Een systeem waarbij op voorhand eigenlijk al vaststaat wie in welk vakje terechtkomt. Geen leerkracht die dit met opzet doet, toch gebeurt het.

Moeten wij accepteren dat de plek waar je wieg staat bepaalt of een kind meer of minder kansen krijgt? De PvdA Heerlen vindt van niet. Maar hoe voorkomen we dat onze kinderen in gescheiden werelden opgroeien in een economie die aantrekt? De komende jaren is er een verwachte groei van 24.000 banen in Zuid-Limburg maar er zijn tegelijkertijd ongeveer 30.000 mensen afhankelijk van een uitkering. Daarnaast heeft de regio een lagere arbeidsmarktparticipatie (63%) t.o.v. andere regio’s in Nederland. De grote vraag is hoe krijgen we zoveel mogelijk menselijk talent tot maximale wasdom? Nu en in de nabije toekomst?

Afgelopen maand stond een mooi interview met Miriam (Hoe een Bijlmerkind gelukkig werd) in de Volkskrant. Geboren en getogen in de Bijlmer. Als kind wist ze niet wat werken was. Haar ouders waren ‘al-tijd thuis’ en soms was er geen eten of elektriciteit. Dankzij de weekendschool kreeg ze een bredere kijk op de samenleving. Nu werkt ze als Operations Manager E-mobility Nederland. Wij zien ook kansen in de weekendschool, oorspronkelijk begonnen met onderwijs op zondag aan kinderen uit achterstandswijken in Amsterdam. Kinderen zoals Miriam en Faoud hebben veelal een beperkter beeld van beroepen, weinig rolmodellen en een kleiner aanbod aan activiteiten om hun talenten te ontwikkelen. Door deze vorm van onderwijs komen ze in aanraking met nieuwe ‘werelden’. Werelden die ze niet kennen. Iedere zondag vakken die ze op school niet krijgen, bijvoorbeeld journalistiek of medicijnen. Gastdocenten verzorgen de praktisch ingestoken lessen. Ze bezoeken bijvoorbeeld de rechtbank of een laboratorium. Hierdoor leren kinderen naast een verbreding van de algemene kennis ook veel over taal en rekenen. Waar ze op de ‘doordeweekse’ school ook profijt van hebben. In Limburg heeft dit principe nog niet echt voet aan de grond gekregen. Terwijl zeker in de voormalige Oostelijke Mijnstreek veel kinderen wonen die hier baat bij hebben.

Het is een diepgewortelde wens van de PvdA in Heerlen om de weekendschool naar de regio te halen. In 2016 hebben wij hierover een motie ingediend, die unaniem aangenomen werd in de gemeenteraad. Twee jaar later is het gelukt. Een basisschool in de Heerlense wijk Eikenderveld gaat met de weekendschool samenwerken. Daar zijn wij blij mee! Want wij geloven in kinderen zoals Miriam en Faoud!

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Het onderwijs in Nederland wordt meer en meer een sorteerfabriek

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