NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – Haco Industries has partnered with the Ministry of Education with a Sh3 million donation which will go towards sponsoring this year’s National Science Congress to be held at Matuga Girls High School in Kwale from Thursday.
The Science Congress which is in its 48th year will bring together more than 5,000 top students from Kenyan secondary schools and allow them to showcase their inventions in various fields.
Haco Industries Chairman Chris Kirubi on Wednesday asked the government to protect the students’ innovative ideas and help develop them into real products saying research was an important aspect in setting the pace for industrialisation.
“Science and technology are at the forefront of technology and the government should use such forums to get students’ ideas and turn them into commerce. It should also help them patent their innovations,” said Mr Kirubi.
He further explained that transforming the innovative ideas into products would help the country reach greater economic heights.
Co-curricular activities coordinator Patrick Khaemba who received the donation on behalf of the Ministry called on other private companies to support educational projects.
Mr Khaemba said it was important to nurture students in their prime and help them become responsible persons in the future.
“Business entities should also come on board and help us patent students’ intellectual property. Most of the students ideas are in raw form and the ministry has not been able to patent any of the ideas that other congresses have raised,” he said.
Mr Kirubi further asked the government to ensure that students’ ideas were not exploited by self centred individuals: “We need to consider their (inventors) input and not sideline them.”
The Haco Chairman also implored the government to reduce levies charged on learning material and to ensure that students were protected from counterfeit products.
“Education officials must vet what is sold to the children. We have a lot of counterfeit products which have been penetrating the market; that is cheating the children. I would also appeal to the Education Ministry to make sure that education resources are zero rated on duty,” he said.
Haco Managing Director Polycarp Igathe added that the company would help students who came up with good ideas in this year’s scientific exhibition to patent their products.
The donation by Haco Industries will go towards stationery expenses, logistical expenses, winners’ awards as well as entertainment expenses.
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Technical Computer Science, Home Science and Agriculture will be this year’s key topics. The congress will end on Saturday.