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8 Kenyans shortlisted for commonwealth education awards

The Commonwealth Secretariat has shortlisted eight Kenyan entries for the Sixth 2022 Commonwealth Education Awards, due to their positive impact on students, teachers and education systems across the Commonwealth.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the Secretariat announced that six finalists out of the 20 shortlisted entries will be announced at a virtual ceremony on April 28, 2022 on the margins of the 21st Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers that will be held in Nairobi.

The entries feature a wide range of inspirational educators and innovative projects, ranging from those that aim to promote literacy among women and tackle youth unemployment to those that empower teachers and academics, and promote peace education.

Kenya was recognized for two entries in the category of Rethinking Education for Innovation for its Basic Education Quality Improvement Programme (BEQUIP) and The Book Club from Manyatta Primary School, where they will compete with Peepul-Chief Minister’s CM Rise from India, Zenafri from Nigeria and The Kalsom Movement from Malaysia.

Competitors for the Rethinking Education for Work category are M-PESA Foundation Academy (Kenya), Educate! (Uganda), Triple threat: researcher, innovator, entrepreneur – Keningau Vocational College (Malaysia) and Navonmesh Prasar with Communicating Innovation (India).

Wild Shaale and TARA Akshar both from India were selected for the Rethinking Education for Sustainability while Kenya’s AMANI clubs and Afrogiveness Centre Project from Cameroon will compete for the Education As Pathways To Peace.

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) (India), No One Out (NOO) (Kenya) and Autism Disorder Project (South Africa) are in the Education for Inclusion category.

Those in the Commonwealth Outstanding Teacher or School Leader include Amos Nyameino, Head of ICT and Innovations Department at Kasigau Girls Secondary School (Kenya), Leonida Chepkorir Soi from Teachers’ Service Commission-Moi Forces Academy Mombasa (Kenya), Peter Mokaya Tabichi a teacher at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School (Kenya) and Mohd Sirhajwan Bin Idek from Keningau Vocational College (Malaysia).

Commenting on the Awards shortlist, Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, said Awards were important as they not only celebrate promising and innovative practices, but also aim to share the ideas of the contestants with other Commonwealth countries who can replicate them to enhance learning outcomes.

“The Education Awards are such a huge part of what we do at the Commonwealth given that 60 per cent of the Commonwealth’s 2.5 billion population is under the age of 30,” said Scotland, adding that education is a top priority for the Secretariat and every Commonwealth country.

She noted that the Awards have come at a time when the world continues to navigate the profound impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on education systems, a topic she announced, will be discussed next week at the Commonwealth Education Ministers Meeting.

“Over the past two years, we have seen the vital work that schools, educators, and communities do daily, to support our education systems. These Awards are a fitting moment to recognize their tireless efforts and incredible work in supporting young people across the Commonwealth,” said Scotland.

Layne Robinson, Head of Social Policy Development at the Commonwealth Secretariat, in his remarks lauded the contestants who submitted their entries and those shortlisted, saying that this year, judges were overwhelmed with the highest quality entries for the Awards.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has placed a huge burden on educational institutions across the Commonwealth. Now, more than ever, we must continue to recognize achievements and acknowledge the vital roles being played in helping the Commonwealth meet its education targets towards the 2030 Agenda,” said Robinson.

This year, a total of 2,462 entries were submitted from 32 countries of which 640 met the submission criteria.

Judges were highly impressed by the numerous examples of excellence, resilience, talent and innovation in the many submissions received.

The Commonwealth Education Awards was launched by the Commonwealth Secretariat to recognize and celebrate promising and innovative programmes, projects, and people that have made a positive impact on the education sector on students, their teachers, or their education system across the Commonwealth.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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