By Emiko Perea
August 2019, LUKENYA—Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Kenya in partnership with Oracle Academy, Airtel Kenya, and IBM East Africa organized a 3-day teacher’s boot camp at Lukenya Boys School in Kajiado County under the theme: “ICT Integration in Teaching and Learning.” Thirty-five teachers from 14 different schools discussed the integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education and the future of technology.
Daniel Juma, Chief Executive Officer of GPF Kenya, welcomed the teachers to the boot camp, expressing the importance of cultivating new innovative practices for today’s education system in order to adapt to a modern job market, including the cultivation of the whole child, not just academics. From character and creativity to digital skills and technology, educators and experts provided a variety of perspectives to the boot camp. Representatives from IBM and Oracle corporation were invited to remark on how their corporations adapted the education system to ensure that students were provided with necessary digital skills for the job market.
“For the youth of Africa to be able to benefit from a cognitive future there needs to be a much higher level of digital literacy,” said Mr. Wahome, the program manager from IBM. “IBM Digital – Nation Africa is designed to help raise overall digital literacy, increase the number of skilled developers able to tap into cognitive engines and enable entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to grow businesses around the new solutions.”
Janet Kamau, Marketing Manager of Oracle Africa, said, “As the technology partner, we are at the forefront of ensuring our students graduate with the tech skills required in the job market.”
She emphasized that Oracle corporation also ensured that teachers enrolled in the Oracle Academy learned digital skills to keep up with the changing educational tools.
In response to Ms. Kamau’s presentation Jacinta Akatsa, the chief guest, shared her thoughts: “You can be an English teacher and still integrate technology in your lesson. Integrating technology is an innovative way of making sure students are alert and want to continue learning. This way, as a teacher, you make your lessons interesting and also make students look forward to attending your classes.”
At the boot camp, the teachers participated in database training and were taught how to use IBM’s Digital Nation Africa platform to develop their digital skills to train their own students and to use technological tools in teaching. After their training, they gave presentations on their plans for using their new knowledge for teaching in their schools. For instance, Joan Shitandi, a computer teacher from Moi Forces Academy, shared that her new knowledge about cybersecurity showed her the necessity of spreading awareness to teachers, students, and parents on the security risks of sharing information on the internet.
GPF Kenya plans to organize another database training for teachers for one week during the school’s midterm break in 2020, further developing the skills and proficiency ofeducators and students to advance their digital knowledge and help them and their students contribute to the advancement of their communities.