Sci­ence and maths teach­ers get $220,000 schol­ar­ships

The East African - - OUTLOOK - By A SPE­CIAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT The Eastafrican

EAST AFRICAN De­vel­op­ment Bank in part­ner­ship with the African-amer­i­can In­sti­tute have in­vested in a $220,000 Stem schol­ar­ship to train public school teach­ers in sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics.

Stem schol­ars, Kenya’s Ed­ward Mureka, Bern­abas Wa­fula, Den­ish Akuom, Chris Mbae, and Uganda’s Miriam Kabagorobya will pur­sue grad­u­ate de­grees in th­ese fields at Rut­gers Univer­sity in the US.

The five un­der­went a rig­or­ous se­lec­tion process that saw them emerge tops in a group of close to 300 other ap­pli­cants.

They are univer­sity grad­u­ates hav­ing re­ceived First Class or Up­per Sec­ond Class Hon­ors Bach­e­lor’s de­grees in Math­e­mat­ics, Sciences or Engi­neer­ing and have been work­ing full time in public and gov­ern­ment-owned ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions.

The Stem ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme is one of the ini­tia­tives launched by the EADB af­ter care­ful study of the re­gion and adopted the rec­om­men­da­tions. There is em­pha­sis by gov­ern­ments in the re­gion in the past 20 years to­wards free pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion.

Sci­ence, Engi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy is one area that the re­search pointed out was lag­ging be­hind in ed­u­ca­tion in­vest­ments.

“The Stem ini­tia­tive, there­fore, aims to max­imise the im­pact of EADB’S in­vest­ment in the higher ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor by grant­ing schol­ar­ships to ac­com­plished lec­tur­ers who have agreed to re­turn to their East African uni­ver­si­ties and con­tinue teach­ing af­ter they earn their grad­u­ate de­grees. The fully-funded schol­ar­ships will pro­vide full tu­ition, room and liv­ing ex­penses,’’ said EADB di­rec­tor gen­eral, Vivi­enne Yeda.

The pro­gramme is in re­sponse to con­cerns that only 27 per cent of univer­sity stu­dents pur­su­ing Sci­ence, Engi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy-re­lated ca­reers in the re­gion.

This is a chal­lenge when at­tempt­ing to pro­pel the re­gion into a mid­dle-level knowl­edgedriven econ­omy.

“While ed­u­ca­tion re­mains a core re­spon­si­bil­ity of gov­ern­ments and their de­vel­op­ment part­ners, there have been var­i­ous de­lib­er­ate gov­ern­ment poli­cies to address the numer­ous chal­lenges in ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. Part of this is to en­cour­age young peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate. There is no sin­gle magic bul­let to ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges ex­cept a con­certed ef­fort,’’ said Ms Yeda.

Pic­ture: File

East Africa De­vel­op­ment Bank di­rec­tor-gen­eral Vivi­enne Yeda.

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