NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Deputy President William Ruto has said the national government has repositioned technology as a driver of the country’s economic growth.
The Deputy President said technology is a prime enabler of sustainable competitiveness, with the power to elevate the country to middle-income level.
Speaking during the Young Scientists Kenya Awards, ceremony, held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi, on Wednesday, the Deputy President asked Kenyans to support the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) if the country was to achieve its development goals.
Present were Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Principal Secretaries Kevit Desai (TVET), Colleta Suda (University Education and Reaserch), Belio Kipsang (Education), Head Of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Ireland Ambassador to Kenya Fionnuala Quinlan and Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.
Dr Ruto said the country has identified the gaps responsible for its failure to attain its technological needs citing the 8-4-4 system of education, a move, he added, has forced the Government to embrace CBC.
“I wish to appeal to all our stakeholders to work to together in ensuring successful implementation of CBC whose focus is more of science, innovation and technology as the only way to achieve our development as a country,” said Dr Ruto.
“This will ensure our education system responds to that of our development paradigm,” added the Deputy President.
He assured Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Magoha that the Government was committed and would do everything possible to ensure successful implementation of CBC.
“With no proper education and proper training, our Vision 2030 might just be the other way round, Vision 3020. Our education system should just be tandem of the requirements of where we want to go as a nation,” said Dr Ruto.
The Deputy President said investing more in science, technology and innovation remains key to socioeconomic development.
He said science was going to firmly rule the future, noting that the country should be ready to adopt emerging issues in the changing new world.
Dr Ruto said for the country to achieve its goal of becoming a middle-income state, more resources were being used for the development of science, technology and innovation.
“Because we must not only catch up, but also compete relentlessly with the best in the world, we have to scale up our engagement with the science, technology and innovation space, especially among our young generation,” said Dr Ruto.
He said science creates opportunities for societies in ways that no other endeavor can match.
He added: “We need more science in this country. We must develop a bigger interest in science courses to change the development trajectory of our country.”
Prof Magoha said the projects YSK support the governments Big 4 Agenda.
He explained that the YSK programmes will help researchers generate the best way to harness technology in the realization of food security through agriculture, universal healthcare and housing.
Prof. Magoha said that his Ministry and Blaze by Safaricom, are working together with the government of Ireland which formed YSK to inspire students to pursue Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses through outreach, linkages and extension programmes and a platform in which students will showcase their scientific research, technologies and innovations.
Dr Desai said the Government would continue to put more emphasis on the development of technology through the technical training institutes across the country.
“Investing in science and technology is fundamental to the development of innovations which is paramount to the country’s economic development and specifically to the attainment of the Big Four agenda,” said Dr Desai.
Quinlan said the origin of young scientists was her country, saying they were critical on the development of countries across the globe.
“The Government of Ireland through its embassy in Nairobi is committed to working with Kenya, private sector, and the community to ensure that there is improved quality of teaching science and technology in this country,” said Quinlan.
Mulinge said Safaricom would continue to support initiatives aimed at improving the quality of teaching sciences in the country.