Global Peace Foundation Kenya Partners with CEMASTEA Launches STEM4Peace Initiative in Schools

Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Kenya in partnership with Centre for Mathematics Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) held a 3 day workshop from 20th – 22nd September 2017, to explore avenues for collaboration in the implementation of STEM4Peace initiative in high schools at the Kenya Science, Ministry of Education offices in Nairobi.

The workshop gathered education stakeholders from the Kenyan Ministry of Education and NGO’s to traverse the significance of inculcating values based technology training in secondary schools in Kenya to promote ethical societies. These include: Mr. Stephen Njoroge, Director, CEMASTEA, Mr. Daniel Juma, Executive Director, GPF Kenya, Dr. Tom Mboya, Coordinator Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Ms. Diana Kwamboka, Program Assistant, GPF Kenya, Mrs. Amina Sharbaidi, CEMASTEA Trainer in Biology, Mr. Isaac Gathamberi, CEMASTEA National Trainer and Deputy, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and GPF trainers on Entrepreneurship, Technology and Moral and Innovative Leadership.

In his opening remarks Mr. Daniel Juma  described the workshop as timely and relevant to the modern world in equipping students with competitive innovation, entrepreneurial and leadership skills relevant to today’s world.

“GPF is helping to drive the Government’s vision to transform education in Kenya by continuously building the capacity of teachers and students as well as creating peaceful environments for learning in schools. Our collective approach to work with stakeholders has been important in advancing this mission. Therefore, GPF will continue to nurture creativity, innovation and build 21st century skills that will help students and teachers prosper,” connoted Mr. Juma.

On the other hand, Dr. Tom Mboya recognized that integrating GPF’s education portfolio augments their efforts  in implementing the STEM programs in secondary schools.

The Ministry of Education has established STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Hubs in high schools across 47 counties with the aim of encouraging more students to uptake STEM programs. CEMASTEA has recognized the value add proposition of Global Peace Foundation in implementing the STEM Hubs that will see GPF offer training to 20% of top trans-formative and pedagogical teachers, offer expertise on Moral and Innovative Leadership and Management best practices to teachers,” acknowledged Dr. Mboya.

The 3 days workshop culminated with the launch  of the STEM4Peace program  on 21st September in celebration of the 2017 International Peace Day. The program will inculcate aspects of character formation within the study of STEM in our schools. The program aims at enhancing sustainable Peace and Development in schools by harnessing STEM Education to create a culture of peace and inviting school climate.  It focuses on developing students of good character and values, innovative and creative minds impacted with 21st century and other Meta skills. The expected outcome of STEM4Peace is a holistic student with knowledge, skills, character and values ready to succeed in every aspect of life. The programs core areas includes making, values, entrepreneurship, leadership and technology.

“Global Peace Foundation has been pushing for inculcating values and character in our secondary schools. We finally have the opportunity of integrating values and impacting the youth with employ-ability skills through harnessing entrepreneurship as a way of creating employment. Young people must be awarded the platform to create jobs, otherwise, if every graduate is looking for jobs, who is creating these jobs?” Mr. Njoroge challenged the audience. “We must to encourage creativity, innovation, analytical and problem solving skills in high school students and the STEM4Peace program initiated by GPF and CEMASTEA definitely will address these concerns” concluded Mr. Njoroge.

The team worked together in developing a concept paper on STEM4Peace programme which will be piloted in 124 public secondary schools (102 STEM schools and 22 Leap Hub schools).  The team also developed specific timelines on the completion of the proposal and budget as a support document to the existing concept paper.

As a way forward, GPF Kenya and CEMASTEA will engage more partners to ensure the implementation of more capacity building programs that would benefit teachers and students in schools.

Global Peace Foundation Convenes a Stakeholders Meeting to Review the Impact of Child Online Safety by Google Kenya

Late last year, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Kenya entered into partnership with Google Kenya to conduct the “Child Online Safety Campaign” in various high schools across the country. This was mainly to create awareness among youth about the risks that come with internet as well as empower them with skills and tools to become responsible internet users.

One year later the campaign has impacted 3,144 students and 1,467 teachers across 170 schools in 16 counties. This was reported during the stakeholders review meeting that was held at the Center for Mathematics Science and Technology Education in Africa. The meeting was attended by various stakeholders from the Ministry of Education, Kenya Girl Guides Association, Kenya Film Classification Board, parents and student beneficiaries of the Child Online Safety Campaign from various high schools among them Moi Forces Academy, Friends School Kaimosi and Machakos High School.

In her presentation, Ms. Caroline Anne Amollo, Director Education Initiatives, Global Peace Foundation Kenya, documentated on the outcomes of the 2016 child online safety campaign. The report highlighted important findings on how young people engage with internet – a huge percentage of youth spend up to 6 hours on internet – on a daily basis.  The results painted more negative aspects of youth online behavior such as addiction to music, movies, games which present online risks such as harassment/cyber bullying and sexual solicitation.

57% of the students had been exposed to nudity in music and videos while online. This shows that students are accessing explicit content not only through pornographic materials but also through music and videos with explicit content. While online, 34.4% of the students are on social media, 30.4% conduct research, while a small number of about 1.6% never go online. This shows that there is need for more sensitization to the students to understand that there is more to the internet that just social media”, Ms. Caroline Amollo highlighted.

On the contrary, a very small percentage of youth are aware of the positive aspects of Internet for example it’s potential for learning and research.

My daughter has a blog with over 3,000 followers where she tackles cases cyber bullying and what to do if you are bullied online. This is one of the positive impacts that the internet has done for my daughter.” Said Ms. Catherine Kabuku, mother to Wangeci a webranger from Precious Blood, Riruta.

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), recommended the need for synchronizing efforts done with various stakeholders to ensure safety of the youth while online.

KFCB is running the media literacy program across various high schools and universities. So far, the program has reached 12,000 university and high school students. Through the media literacy program, we can create more impact by embedding online safety element in the ongoing media literacy program so as to reach a wider scope, “said Charity Macharia, Communications Officer at KFCB.

Students on the other end appreciated the efforts by Google Kenya and other stakeholders in equipping them with the necessary tools to become online rangers. They reported on positive impact of the training and how they can safely navigate the online space. The use of strong passwords to ensure privacy, and prevent unauthorized access, use of safe search to prevent access to explicit and adult content and not being victims of cyber tricks were among the lessons learnt by the students.

The ministry of Education represented by Mr. Hesbon Nyagaka, recognized the importance of online safety especially now that the government is giving out laptops to class one pupils. Mr. Nyagaka applauded the private sector for its efforts in ensuring that students are responsible users of the internet and recommended the need for public, private partnership and integration of online safety in the curriculum.

The day culminated with closing remarks from Mr. Stephen Njoroge, Director CEMASTEA. “It is the responsibility of every stakeholder to ensure that our youth realize the importance of the internet and make good use of it. Let us invest in nurturing the offline character because that will determine the online character of our youth. Teachers and parents need more training the tools they can use to guard the young ones in the online space,” he said “Teachers should know which activities develop values in students because developing character and values in students is a continuous process,” he concluded.

As a way forward, GPF Kenya will seek closer collaboration with Kenya Girl Guides Association to train girl guides to become online rangers, and also through KFCB and its network conduct advocacy for the campaign and push for media visibility.

Finally, GPF will engage the Ministry of Education through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to integrate Child Online Safety in the current education curriculum and also involve parents/guardians in the campaign.

Capital Business Reports on Young Innovators Boot Camp by GPF and Airtel

“Technology is one tool that we are using to strengthen characters of these entrepreneurs by allowing them to challenge themselves to seek more knowledge and expertise online thus giving them leverage to the information, access and content that the internet provides.”

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the innovators boot camp, the Executive Director, Global Peace Foundation Kenya Daniel Juma challenged the youth to embrace the use of technology to solve challenges in our society today. He said that youth today have everything they need to succeed at their disposal and through the Youth Innovators Boot Camp, GPF envisions to nurture the creativity and innovation of students whom he believes are a solution to the global unemployment menace.

The camp exposed up to 60 Leadership and Entrepreneurship (LEAP) Hubs Students from 12 schools in 5 counties to mentorship and constructive interaction to nurture best ideas for investment. The boot camp featured expert presentations on fundamental entrepreneurship skills including opportunity identification, business plan basics, and funding start-ups.

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Online learning platforms an alternative learning model to provide sustainable and impactful education in Africa.

Education Innovation Africa forms part of Informa’s Education Investment Series – the leading provider of insight and business partnership opportunities for the private education community in the Middle East and Africa. Its first edition united over 500 representatives of Ministries, Investors, Educators, Financiers, Tech Companies and Solution Providers in the first meeting of its kind that focused on the business of innovative education delivery in Africa.

This year’s conference held under the theme; ‘Driving Impact in Private, Social and PPP Education Projects in Africa’, united key education leaders to find new partnerships and models that would provide sustainable and impactful education programmes across Sub-Saharan Africa.

A very perceptive event into the African market, the event brought together high level representatives from all around the continent who conveyed a real sense for what the successes and challenges in the education market in Africa are like. The conference provided a variety of topics from which opened quality discussions towards finding viable solutions in Africa.

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The Director for Education Initiatives at Global Peace Foundation-Kenya, Ms. Carol Amollo together with Global Peace Foundation, Vice President, Dr. Tony Devine participate at the Annual Education Innovation Conference in Nairobi

This was a compliment to Global Peace Foundation’s work in advancing models that transform education to meet the demands of the 21st century. More specifically, the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Hubs (LEAP Hubs) & Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) programs implemented in high schools that bring together education stakeholders to deliver a positive impact on social issues and combat negative global trends in youth unemployment.   Representing GPF were the Executive Director, Global Peace Foundation Kenya, Mr. Daniel Juma, the Vice President, Global Peace Foundation, Dr. Tony Devine, and the Director for Education Initiatives at Global Peace Foundation Kenya, Ms. Carol Amollo.

The conference provided a diversified platform to learn from and network with public, private and social partners who are working to transform education around the world. It informed alternative education models such as informal private schools, online learning platforms, skills-based programmes and alternative delivery models as a contributing factor to the reach of education across Africa. However, it suggested sustainable finance and investment as a requirement to increase the efficacy, reach and impact of these programmes.

Global Peace Foundation Trains Youth on “Online Safety” Sponsored by Google Kenya.

Digital media use among young people has been proven to expand their critical and creative thinking skills, increase their motivation and self-esteem as well as help them develop skills needed for the modern world.  As schools progressively incorporate technology into their curricula, its high time we ensured a safe online environment where young people explored the world safely and contributed in creating useful content to better serve the needs of the 21st century.

But the question still lingers, how do we ensure that young people who have been raised on technology in the Information age are safe while using the internet?

Early this year, Global Peace Foundation Kenya entered into partnership with Google Kenya to empower youth in high schools with knowledge, skills, attitude, values and tools to become digital leaders, beyond being responsible digital citizens. This was through a “Child Online Safety Campaign” that entails a whole curriculum on child online safety for both teachers and students. The campaign targets high school youth who participate in Global Peace Education’s – a division of Global Peace Foundation – Leadership and Entrepreneurship Hubs (LEAP Hubs) and Character and Creativity (CCI) programs as well as other schools.

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Ms. June Metho, a facilitator training students on Child Online Safety during one of the sessions.

Sponsored by Google Kenya, the campaign was officially lunched by the Executive Director, Center for Mathematics Science and Technology in Africa (CEMASTEA) Mr. Stephen Njoroge at Ngara Girls High School in November 2015. This marked the beginning of a campaign that would see over 3000 students from 22 counties benefit from skills that would enable them build positive digital footprints. The launch was attended by over 100 students and teachers from different schools in Nairobi and its environs among them Brook House International School, Mangu Boys High School, Moi Forces Academy Embakasi Girls High School and others.

The this end, the campaign has been conducted in different schools from various counties among them Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale Counties with plans underway to scale up to more schools in other counties. Over 2300 students and teachers have also benefited on online safety training, which is estimated 50% of the target number.

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Initiative for Transforming Education Convene to Address Gaps in Education

31st March, 2016 – A consultative forum for transforming education in Kenya was held at the Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel in Nairobi to address education requirements in the modern world. This came a day after a National Conference on Curriculum Reform was held at KICC with participation of key education stakeholders to review the current 8-4-4 education curriculum.

Organized by Global Peace Foundation, the forum highlighted major achievements by Global Peace Foundation’s Education Division during the 2015 financial year. The education program was  launched in 8 demonstration schools within Nairobi in the year 2014 and has since scaled up to 24 schools in 12 counties country wide majoring in schools from both rural and urban areas as well as ensuring gender equity.”

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Cabinet Secretary, Information Communication and Technology, Mr. Joe Mucheru addressing stakeholders during the ITE consultative forum

Speaking during the forum, the Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communication Technology Mr. Joe Mucheru emphasized on the need to transform education to meet the requirements of the 21st century.

“The rapid changes in the world today stirred by technology create an urgent need to transform  education. We must integrate technology in everyday learning to impart learners with the necessary skills needed,” he reiterated, “life skills training and character development is as well important for social development of this country,” he concluded.

The forum brought together senior officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), other education stakeholders and corporates to contribute to the need of incorporating life skills training and character development to enhance social transformation as well as technology training for digital literacy.

Global Peace Foundation – Kenya Participates in Google/YouTube Workshop on Countering Dangerous Speech Online in Tokyo, Japan

On February 25 – 26 , Global Peace Foundation represented by Ms. Caroline Anne Amollo, Director, Education Programs in Kenya, participated in a consultative workshop hosted by Google at the YouTube Space in Tokyo, Japan. The participation was as a result of the robust working relationship between GPF and Google in Kenya whereby Education Programs encourage improved access to technology for youth and Google supports youth to be safer online.

Google organized the event having realized that, in recent years, technology and innovation have emerged as key enablers of economic growth and integrated education. As more content is being created and consumed online, challenges have arisen along side opportunities posing threats and concerns among internet stakeholders. The international workshop, therefore, addressed the issues that arise from dangerous narratives online. Participants of the workshop from 13 different countries discussed comparative experiences dealing with dangerous speech online and explored strategies, especially non legal ones, aiming to address these issues through partnerships between tech platforms, civil society and internet communities.

Ms. Amollo, in her presentation, outlined the strides made by GPF in improving access to technology for youth in schools through their partnership with Airtel internet provider who provide free internet to all Leap Hubs in Kenya, Intel and Oracle who provide online resources for teacher and student training. “The risk that our youth will encounter dangerous narratives as they navigate the internet is very real,” she said, “ and the impact has been measured by UMATI who carried out a study in 2012 that analyzed the role that hate speech online played in the 2007 post election violence in the country.” She went on to state that GPF in collaboration with Google Kenya is working closely with education stakeholders to ensure that young people remain informed of the dangers of online existence and that they are well trained to respond correctly when it happens.

“Narratives are central in exploring ideology online. As civil society we have a role to play in countering extremism and preventing radicalization both online and offline,” said Jonathan Russell, Head of Policy at Quilliam Foundation, UK. Other workshop participants included Asrul Daniel from Malaysia, Cheikh Ahmadou, Founder and CEO AlazharTouba.com from Senegal, Dr. Palmer, Vice president, Atlas Network, USA and Zororo Mavindidze, Senior Researcher, Freedom of Expression Institute in South Africa among others.

Apart from training participants to use Google services and resources like Google Analytics and Google Forms, the YouTube team explored various avenues of expanding their support of NGO work around the world to make the internet a safer place. They welcomed new innovative approaches to enhancing online safety and the use of Google as an education and peace platform.

One way we can expand GPF collaboration with Google and YouTube is through teacher and student skills development in Google resources as well as further collaboration in anti radicalization campaigns around Kenya especially with the ongoing Al-shabaab menace in the country,” concluded Ms. Caroline.

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