The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), together with Safaricom and Eneza Education, have signed a pact to implement a digital mentorship programme for high school students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The programme will entail working with role models and mentors to provide students with information on STEM subjects to enable them to make informed career choices.
“We are implementing lessons picked during this COVID-19 pandemic to partnering with Eneza’s Shupavu 291 solution to give students access to mentors and information on STEM subjects via SMS”, said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
Over 40 radio stations and a local TV channel will air the live shows during which students will be encouraged to send questions via SMS to 40291. The mentors and facilitators of the show will then send responses to each question as they engage the learners. The programme will run for the next 11 weeks.
Learners will get a chance to engage with tutors through programmes on local TV and community radio stations as well as through SMS via the shortcode 40291.
“We are happy to be part of this project leveraging our existing Ask a Teacher Platform on Shupavu 291 to adapt the mentorship solution. We believe that this will keep students connected to STEM in the face of this global pandemic irrespective of their gender and socio-economic backgrounds,” said Wambura Kimunyu, CEO, Eneza Education.
Speaking on the partnership, the Regional Director, UNESCO, Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, pointed out that through the online interaction and continual access to mentorship services on STEM, education and life and survival skills, students will be able to overcome gender stereotypes about STEM careers, hence developing interest in science-related subjects while learning from home.
“Through this project, we hope learners will be able to nurture interest in STEM through the linkage between them and the role models in the STEM profession,” she said.
The Ministry of Education facilitates this digital mentorship programme, the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and Safaricom.
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