I recently attended a students’ innovators boot camp organised by the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Kenya and Airtel Kenya at the Alliance High school.
Identification, incubation and nurturing of student innovation were identified as positive ways of building their character, leadership skills and entrepreneurial abilities.
The 2016 GPF report states that 6,411 have been trained on character and creativity while 2,707 have received trainings on leap hubs. This has resulted into 120 students’ ideas under incubation and a further 11 launched.
That students can come up with innovative solutions to societal problems cutting across all major productive sectors of the economy is a wakeup call to all stakeholders to try to catch up with the quickly evolving trends in education and students’ innovation.
As the curriculum reviews take shape, the education system should be made more far-reaching, applied and ultramodern.
The place of student innovation and entrepreneurship skills development needs to be re-thought for the system to churn out moral and innovative job creators as opposed to job seekers.
Equally imperative is the need to look into ways of strengthening ICT in education since this is the window that can offer students infinite innovative learning opportunities.
As different stakeholders move towards generation and transforming of learning material to e-platforms, teachers should also be empowered and encouraged to embrace self-generated content and innovative approaches.
More teachers need to be trained and equipped with skills to enable them help students navigate their online activity and innovate.
Efforts should also be up-scaled to bridge the digital connectivity gulf between urban based and rural based schools and classrooms. IResearch has demonstrated that Internet connectivity has the makings of revolutionising teaching, learning and innovation.
Student innovation requires diligence, reinforcement and mentorship.
As key actor like GPF and Airtel endeavour to engage various stakeholders and State agencies by providing the incubation platforms, trainings, mentorship, networking and managing prototypes, parents should in the same way view students’ innovation encouragingly and offer backing when needed.
The writer is a deputy principal.