A five-day boot camp on Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing and Micro-science has been organized by Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration Rwanda Ministry of Education with UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa. At least 150 students and 20 teachers from twenty selected STEM secondary and TVET schools in Kigali will attend this camp which is organized in two phases of two days. Each school will send 6 students and one teacher, except Fawe Girls School, Gisozi that will be represented by 15 students in each phase. The fifth day has been reserved for demonstration and each school was represented by two students and one teacher.
Speaking during the event, Hon. Gaspard Twagirayezu, the Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education in the Ministry of Education noted that the African continent has many necessities and challenges and young people should think how to resolve them. “We need to strengthen our STEM education and ensure that our students are being trained to be innovators, active contributors to the fourth industrial revolution. This training is aligned with National Strategy for Transformation( NSTI) that aims at creating a knowledge-based economy, promoting STEM and ICT in education and enhancing the quality of education and life-long learning,” he added.
Hon. Twagirayezu explained that Rwanda has adopted the method of first familiarizing students with technology and STEM, and then encourage them to follow STEM during their education journey. This helps them to demystify mathematics and science in general.
Hon. Minister Gaspard TWAGIRAYEZU, opening officially the bootcamp this Tuesday
Rwanda National Commission Secretary General, Mr Albert Mutesa, said that this STEM is part of the ongoing big event of Africa Regional Forum of SDGs, especially on SDG4 for which the AR STI Forum is organized now. “Our main objective of this training is to strengthen the capacities of STEM instructors and students to the latest technologies and innovations which could offer them opportunities for instruction and creation of scientific educational contents, particularly in Artificial Intelligence, coding and robotics, editing and 3D printing simulation,” he added.
Albert MUTESA, Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO Secretary General giving the speech on the occasion
Mr Albert MUTESA noticed that Rwanda government, as UN active member state, is committed to put more effort and improvement in the SDG4 implementation by enhancing the quality and inclusive education and teaching for all, as one of the main way to boost the achievement of other SDGs towards the common 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development.
Mr Sam PARTEY, Senior Science Programme Specialist, UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa expressed his sincere gratitude to the local organizers of the boot-camp and foreign trainers that contributed to the success of the training. He noted that the world has entered the fourth industrial revolution and young students have to be equipped to play an effective role and to compete with other actors from all over the world. Such STEM boot-camp workshop will make them more competitive, confident and prepared for the increasing and high requirements to the modern new job market.
Students are demonstrating to the Hon Min Gaspard TWAGIRAYEZU what have been learnt so far
Teachers said that acquired knowledge will help them to boost students’ skills capacity to innovate. “We are in digital era, said David Benimana from College Saint Andre. Teaching STEM requires having materials such as laboratories to help students learn by more practical sessions and hands on, which will contribute to tackle existing world challenges. In the absence of modern equipment, we can use accessible materials in local area.”
Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO in partnership with UNESCO and local stakeholders is organizing annually youth STEM boot-camp campaign, mostly for young girls in secondary schools to raise among them awareness, inspiration, and love of STEM subjects and careers.