by Nashon Adero
What project idea did you generate or nurture during your time in EMPOWER program?
Enhancing Quality and Equity in STEM Education in Rural Kenya by Optimising Transition Rates from Primary to Secondary School.
What lasting memories do you associate with your time in EMPOWER program?
Group discussions for complex problem solving with enlightening intercultural perspectives.
What is the current status of your EMPOWER project?
My current status is summarized as follows:
- Data collected across Kenya, both rural and urban primary schools, and analysed to reveal key weaknesses and disparities, now aggravated by COVID-19.
- Successful dissemination of the project ideas and preliminary findings in Kenya through media engagement (a leading daily newspaper,TV stations, and think tank bulletins) as well as youth mentorship forums – virtual and physical, a youth mentorship website (Impact Borderless Digital –), and a book project between university and industry.
- Submitted a proposal for funding to meet the project’s 2025 targets.
- Background paper on the youth unemployment problem in Africa linked to a poor foundation in primary school and a growing skills deficit (part of the book project).
What is the next phase of your project?
My next steps are:
- Completing the 2018 – 2020 report of the project.
- Implementing the 2021 – 2025 phase through enhanced publicity and policy discourse.
- The majority live in deprived rural areas. Turning the youth bulge in this region into a demographic dividend requires a multi-stakeholder approach that enhances the very foundation, which is rooted in basic education.
What internal and external contacts did you build throughout your time in EMPOWER program?
- TU BAF doctoral students and GraFA staff.
- The African Centre for Career Enhancement and Skills Support (ACCESS) and DAAD/exceed higher education project – became the Kenyan Winner of the ACCESS Idea Competition for African lecturers on November 27, 2020.
- Kenya Presidential Digital Talent Programme – Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs.
- The Global Academy (on SDGs).
- The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
What is your motivation for joining this EMPOWER?
With a median age of 20, Kenya finds parity in access to quality basic education a single most important source of long-term socioeconomic transformation. Quality skills-based STEM education is key to addressing the growing youth unemployment problem with a rapidly changing labour market. To solve the above challenges, I joined the EMPOWER program.
Will you tell us your life motto at the end?
My authentic duty is the excellent, responsible, self-driven and selfless service of my refined gift to the world.
Which elements of EMPOWER training do you find most helpful?
- Guest lecture series
- Group problem-solving skills