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Universities urged to adopt new innovative methodologies in teaching ICT

by Sam Wakoba
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Universities have been urged to adopt new innovative teaching methodologies that are in line with the recent developments in ICT, and prepare their professors for the needs of the millennials, according to recommendations made by participants at the just concluded ITU Global Capacity Building Symposium.

In his speech during the opening of global ICT Capacity Building Symposium, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education said, “In Kenya, we believe that our capacity to compete in the global market greatly depends on the ability of our people to innovate and apply the relevant technology for growth and development. This discussion and the selected theme of ‘Embracing Capacity Building Opportunities in the Digital Era’ could not have been more relevant.”

Matiang’i added that without adequate capacity building of Kenya’s teachers, the desired educational impact cannot be achieved. The government has therefore trained over 70,000 teachers on ICT basic literacy with many more to follow.

“All schools have been redesigned and revamped to meet the minimum standards for digital learning. Among the key infrastructure undertaking in the schools, as a prerequisite, was the power connection to all the public primary schools, which has also transformed the households who live near the schools, as they also benefitted from the connection,” he added. “ICT is a critical component of the world’s economies today, having permeated all sectors.  The education sector is both a beneficiary of ICT and a contributor to the development of ICT.  In fact, with this kind of symbiotic relationship, improving skills is a vital component of the ICTs growth strategy. ”

Hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the Communications Authority of Kenya, delegates had very fruitful discussions on a wide range of topics including: the role of capacity building in ICTs for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); fostering stakeholder partnerships between suppliers of training and the consumers of training; the emerging technologies in the digital era and the associated skills challenges; the new learning opportunities brought about by these new technologies; the role of Academia in driving innovation as well as providing capacity building solutions for the digital era; and the role of the ITU Centres of Excellence in supporting global capacity building.

The Ministerial roundtable highlighted the importance of linking ICT policies and education policies, in order to address the institutional reforms necessary for ensuring the availability of the skills required in the digital society. A priority in this regard was the need to ensure capacity building in ICT is integrated in education.

Ministers further highlighted the importance of equipping people with the necessary ICT skills so that they can be part of the digital society. They noted the importance of a strong legal environment that fosters long-term policies for the creation of capacity building programmes in ICTs.

According to the delegates, as ICT skills become critical in the digital economy, there is need to develop some global benchmarks for these ICT skills, as well as some tools for assessment, training and certification. They also agreed that the digital economy was also creating learning opportunities through technology tools such as mobile technology and MOOCs that could be leveraged for learning. MOOCs represented a viable channel to expand training opportunities to gain skills and improve people’s competitiveness in the labour market.

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