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Pupils urged to participate in Tea Champion Competition

Primary school pupils in eastern and western tea growing areas registered in the rebranded school agriculture clubs dubbed 4-K clubs, have been invited by the government to participate in the 4K Clubs Crea-Tea-Ve Challenge competition.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development in partnership with Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) made the announcement Wednesday, urging the young learners to express their knowledge of tea using different forms of expressions themed, ‘Championing Youth Involvement in Kenya Tea.’

The top prize will be a tour to a specialty tea factory in addition to trophies and certificates being awarded to the winners.

In an interview with KNA during the close of a two day 4-K Clubs Tea Champion Training of Trainers workshop in for teachers drawn from Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet and Kericho counties held at a Kericho hotel, Youth Communication and Competitions officer in the Youth in Agriculture unit at Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Jane Njeru said the deadline for application is January 22, 2024 and the judging and prize giving ceremonies will be held in March next year.

“The 4K Clubs Crea-Tea-Ve Challenge competition will have three categories that pupils will participate in notably, Digital creation, where pupils will use their ICT skills to make their presentation for example on TikTok or videos, Value addition, where pupils will use their creativity to have great tea flavor and New Product Development, where pupils will develop something new in tea.

The competition calls for different forms of expression which the learners will use to present their entry categories before the judges including poems, songs, art, skits, digital content creation and cookery,” noted Njeru.

She noted the objective of the competition is to involve teachers in primary schools and expose young learners to the tea industry, with a view to building a positive attitude towards the tea sector in the western and eastern tea growing areas in Kenya.

“We have realized that young people are losing interest in tea and in this competition, we want teachers to understand how they can participate the young learners to tea. We are concerned that if we do not engage the young ones right now, and we wait for them to grow old and then hand over tea to them to manage, they will not be interested in the cash crop then,” said Njeru.

In Kenya there are about 1,250 registered 4-K clubs in primary schools with an estimated membership of over 70,000 countrywide.

Njeru encouraged the youth to join 4-K clubs to get opportunities to learn not only on matters of agriculture, but also nutrition, environmental conservation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), civic engagements and citizenship that are crucial for development, noting that 4K clubs were complementing Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

“The re-launching of the 4K clubs by the Ministry of Agriculture was aimed at bringing on board more youth into food production to guarantee continuity in food production. 4K clubs were very popular especially in the 1970s and 1980s until they disappeared and rebranding of 4K clubs was held in June 2021 and we have so far reached 28 counties and we hope to reach the rest too,” she added.

In an interview with a participant at the close of the 4-K Clubs Tea Champion Training of Trainers workshop, a primary school teacher at Gikomo primary school Joyce Chepkorir Orwasa from Kisii county said she was excited to be part of the training program, adding that she will ensure that not only her school, but also other neighboring schools get to register 4-K clubs with a view to promoting President William Ruto Bottom-Up economic model.

In the wake of the (CBC), it is envisaged that the 4-K clubs will provide a holistic approach of positive youth development at home, school and the community by building on the strength of the youth as active agents to community development.

By Sarah Njagi

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