By HENRY OWINO (Senior Science Correspondent)
The Kabete National Polytechnic emerged winners in the 8th National Science, Technology and Innovation (S, T &I) Week held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) Nairobi.
The Engineering Department students scoop the top position after demonstrating their technical know -how in robotic skills.
In the second place was Jeremiah Nyagah from Technical Training Institute while Kibabii University emerged third. The winners were presented with gifts and trophies.
His Excellency Mr Ryoichi Horie, Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, who was present at the event appreciated the knowledge and talent demonstrated by the youth in their various innovations. He called for enhancement of students’ partnerships between Kenya and Japan as a way of advancing technology.
“Technology and innovation is the key in the current world and so students need lots of support to achieve much more. It is the only way young people could realize their dreams and develop the nation hence the call for collaboration,” H. E. Mr Horie said.
The National Science week is an annual event for players in the science, technology and innovation sector. The event provides a forum for engaging stakeholders to share ideas and promote engagement as envisaged in this year’s (2019) theme, “Science, Technology and Innovation: Building Partnerships, Transforming Society’’.
The event usually provides a platform for stakeholders to forge collaborations and partnerships that advance research, science, technology and innovation that will transform societies for social-economic development.
The week long event was jointly held alongside the Young Scientists of Kenya (YSK) exhibition which attracted 27 Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVET) Institutions that participated in showcasing various technological inventions.
Sixteen Research posters presented with 11 private institutions who demonstrated their ability to harness local re-usable resources to generate useful products and services and 23 government departments and public institutions exhibiting their service delivery mandates.
187 Secondary schools with 235 entries participated in the YSK science and technology exhibitions. Eleven national institutions (9 TVET and 2 Universities) were in robotics competition.
This 8th National Science Week was officially closed on Friday, 9th August by Dr Kevit Desai, the Principal Secretary in State Department for Vocational and Technical Training.
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Mutinda Mwaa, Director Vocational, Education and Training (VET) in the State Department, the PS emphasized the government’s commitment to support talented youth in universities and technical institutions as a way of promoting scientific innovations.
“The Ministry is committed to support the Research, Science, Technology and Innovation initiatives in the country. We will continue to support similar fora that promote partnerships and collaborations on research, science, technology and innovation to enhance national, regional and global S,T&I network,” Dr Desai asserted.
The event comes at a time when the Kenya government is implementing the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) in view to keep up with the advances in science and technology, particularly focusing on the learner’s talents.
During the official opening on Saturday 3rd August, 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the line Ministry to put in place a robust mechanism for securing scientific ideas, projects and innovations by the Kenyan youth.
The President said the country’s future lies in scientific innovations and thus the need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders. He emphasized that it is the only way to ensure that transformative innovations are adequately safeguarded.
Dr Desai confirmed that the Ministry is taking up measures to ensure that the directive is implemented to the letter and spirit.