Education Officials – VVOB ICT Integration Programme Study Visit 05/12/2011
Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi, Permanent Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Education, led a delegation of senior officers on a study tour visit to Belgium on “Integrating ICT into Education”, on 28-29 November 2011. The visit was organized in conjunction with the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB).
The delegation held two important meetings. The first was held with the “Immaculata Instituut” in Antwerp, on 28 November 2011. The Immaculata Instituut is a technical school, which has effectively integrated ICT into education. Their secret to success lies in empowering their ICT students, who actively contribute to their learning. In answering a very vital need, the faculty of the institute turned a disadvantage into an advantage by letting the students teach the teachers in a positive environment, knowing fully well that the younger generation is more technologically savvy than the older generation, and this they used to their advantage. The school has invested in ICT infrastructure by purchasing already used computers, and has an intricate ICT structure.
On 29 November 2011, the delegation held a second meeting at the “Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg” (KHLim) in Hasselt. KHLim is an institution which offers Masters and Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas to students in ICT. Distance learning courses are also available. In the interactive sessions, the KHLim professors provided insights on how to reverse the negative outlook of the internet, so that students become safe users. The meeting learnt that ICT, particularly social media, can be used positively. Therefore, students can use Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to acquire vital knowledge and know-how.
In brief, VVOB seeks to contribute to the improvement of quality education in developing countries. VVOB has a multi-year programme in Kenya, running from 2008 to 2013, and has two sub-programmes: “Healthy Learning” and “ICT Integration into Education”. VVOB is also active in the medical field through the KMTC Skillslab Project. The meetings in Belgium provided the opportunity for Kenya to learn from best practices and discover means of collaboration.
The Permanent Secretary was accompanied by Ministry of Education officials Mr. Temba, Mr. Gitonga and Mr. Makoba, Dr. Van Otten of VVOB, and Ms Ngali of the Kenyan Embassy.
With his delegation, Prof. Ole Kiyiapi proceeded to the Online Educa-Berlin Conference in Germany.