[kictanet] ICT Opportunity alert: Will the true entrepreneurs stand up?

Al Kags alkags at alkags.com
Thu Dec 20 09:35:03 EAT 2007

Fatma et al,

Very well said. Lately I have been wondering a lot about the education
system in Kenya a whole lot more. The key questions that have been playing
in my mind include:

   - How can we have such an abandunce of well educated individuals in
   the country but we are hardly solving problems?
   - Any one who employs people has wondered like me how you could have
   people with such glowing papers and yet they can/do not innovate or solve
   the business or societal problems.

You will agree with me that education is meant to equip people to solve
problems and innovate new solutions for progress and development.

In a number of random discussions I have had with different people a
consensus seemed to have been reached that the education ethos first and
then the system second need to be looked at in some degree of analysis.
Observe the 8-4-4 child of the last 15 years and you will notice that the
school bag has been growing bigger and heavier, that children at the age of
five are now schooling all day - where a number of years ago 11 year olds
were going half day and playing the other half of the day. They no longer
have time to play and discover and make mistakes by themselves and exerciser
choice and leadership.

For some reason, the self same people who played "shake" yesterday and made
wire cars and slid with bare bottoms down muddy hills today deprive the
children with play time.

I am concentrating on play time because in my view the focus for education
has got to change. While it used to be that since Kenyatta's days we were
preparing our children to be doctors, engineers, lawyers and other nice
professional jobs like those, our focus today has got to literally take
advantage of everyone's strengths and build on them.

So a child has no aptitude for the sciences. Why should we invest so much in
forcing them to go through it in successive regimes and wonder why they fail
in life - even though they can say write very well, or paint very well - can
we not use those key talents as they are?

But more importantly is that in preparing our kids to be problem solvers and
innovators by allowing them to and supporting them to develop their own
individual strengths, can we then build a culture of people who (i'll say it
again) solve problems.

Can it be more emphasised that solving problems and innovating is what I am
pushing for?

On 12/18/07, Fatma Bashir <fatma.bashir at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear All,
> I think that in Kenya we can prepare our school going children at all
> levels to contribute effectively in the soceity they will build to live and
> work in when they come of age.
> A paradigm shift on the education policy planning and implementation to
> forecast the set of skills that the next generation will need in order to
> successfully compete in both the local and global front may be
> necessary. That is if it is not already well underway that is.
> For this to be effectively done an analysis of developing trends both
> locally and globally will need to established. Today the Internet has turned
> around how we learn, live, relate, transact business etc, it will not go
> away as more and more the internet will relied upon as a carrier for almost
> everything. Will it still be the internet tommorrow or will it be mobile
> technolgy?
> Emerging opportunities within our own country that we will need to
> exploited need to also be established, this from our natural
> resources etc, We need to build incubation strategies that deliberately
> nurture certain skills to prepare our youth (school going) to naturally slot
> themselves into these emerging opportunities. What quickly comes to mind is
> the BPO industry, for it to succeed even at the continental front the
> harvesting ground is the high schools in this country.
> What areas of the curriculum need to be brought back into play and which
> ones need to be revised especially on delivery in order to make them hands
> on?
> Lets look at technical drawing for example, it was once a popular subject,
> but if it is to return will we expect the students to still use pencils or
> the mouse? What skills do the teachers as the front runners need to have to
> effectively deliver? What facilities will be needed in the schools?
> Science and Technology is the differentiating factor between developed,
> developing and never to develop countries! Through innovation the world can
> become your client ( oyster) What needs to be done to upgrade the standards
> using eLearning tools? this is to ensure that our chemistry, biology ,
> physics and Maths classes are literally brimming with students. It can be
> done right up to University level courses that then feed directly into R&D
> centres. This will institute the correct culture needed to bring in critical
> analytical skills that are necessary for innovation.
> These skills will enable us to exploit global opportunites while still
> living in our country.
> To fully integrate new technologies into the education system we may need
> to revist methods of teaching strategy (pedagogy), quality assuarance,
> assessment, certification. Less reliance on the written exams and more focus
> on group work, assignments, CAT's as methods of assessment and awarding of
> results will need to be delved into.
> I beleive enterpreneurship skills can be nutured in the minds of those who
> learn how to approach thinking from different perspectives from an early
> age. It takes a challenging classroom environment to breed this mind set.
> there is so much more to be said here....
> 'a mind is not an empty vessel to be filled it is a fire to be lit'.
> Fatma
> Dec 17, 2007 9:31 PM, alice <alice at apc.org> wrote:
> > Dear all
> > > It is clear that the government and the Kenya ICT Board have the
> > > concepts right in terms creating the opportunities for wealth and
> > > employment creation. What must now be ignited is the private sector.
> > > The entrepreneur must seize the opportunity that is beginning to show
> > > itself and make the most of it. Sadly, so far, the developments in the
> > > ICT sector have largely had the attention of activists – even those
> > > who have their businesses.
> > Interesting call... only problem is if this has to be effective and
> > Kenya has to have a size able number of citizens that are motivated
> > enough, have the skills, knowledge etc etc to take advantage of the
> > opportunities being provided by government, there is a need look into
> > other issues that affect the uptake from mindsets, curriculum's in
> > nearly all of our schools and indeed universities, colleges. Do they
> > offer entrepreneurial skills and encouragement to venture?
> >
> > Those of us who attended the GK3 last week, will recall one of the great
> > and most popular ideas that was presented by the Idea Factory and widely
> > voted for was the idea of introducing entrepreneurial skills, courses
> > etc as early as kindergarten. Could we do that in Kenya?
> >
> > best
> > alice
> >
> >
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