[Kenya] JKUAT and Zalego Institute partner to nurture tech innovations from secondary schools
More than 70 Kenyan secondary school students from over 30 schools across the country have concluded a six-week ICT youth innovation training programme at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT).
The students with a keen interest in ICT underwent through the training organized by JKUAT’s ICT- Research, Consultancy and Training Department in partnership with Zalego Institute of Technology and Innovation. The programme is aligned with the Ministry of Education’s efforts of integrating ICT in education.
The training programme was initiated following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between JKUAT and Zalego Institute of Technology in July 2018. The main focus of training is on web development, android and python programming language.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, at JKUAT Prof. Mary Abukutsa, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi urged the students to embrace ICT to solve common community problems advising that it is a way of contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.
Prof. Abukutsa further encouraged the students to take advantage of such opportunities to develop new products and ideas. She observed that the university has already provided marketing platforms in Nairobi and Nyeri ASK Shows together with the Tech-Expo to showcase their innovations.
She lauded Zalego for partnering with JKUAT to nurture innovation potential at an early age, while expressing the university’s willingness to partner with other institutions.
The initiative’s main goal is to nurture an innovation mindset among secondary school students in Form 1 and Form 3 and equip them with relevant, rich and diverse ICT innovation skills which will prepare them to select ICT related careers with ease, access jobs and create innovative market viable solutions required in the job market while reducing the rate of unemployment in the country.
The programme also seeks to enhance the capability of Kenyan youth to successfully compete with their peers for jobs and other opportunities in the expanding global knowledge economy.
Following the completion of the 6-week training, the candidates will be expected to come up with viable projects tailored to solve societal problems and close the gaps presented by such problems.
A similar training programme for form 4 leavers is set to be carried out in January 2019 under the auspices of JKUAT and Zalego. The Director Zalego, Mr. Eric Mutuku, said the students will be mentored from an early age to be job creators while also preparing them to be holistic individuals in the job market.
Mr. Mutuku encouraged the students to utilize their potential and take their projects seriously in order to create meaningful innovations.