A recent meeting between Kenyan Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu, and Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, Okaniwa Ken, solidified a burgeoning educational partnership between the two nations.

The discussions centered on collaborative efforts to strengthen Kenya's human capital development, with a particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.

While disclosing that over 200 Kenyan students are undertaking University Education in Japan, Ambassador Ken reaffirmed Japan's unwavering support for Kenya's human resource development endeavours.

He outlined a multi-pronged approach encompassing the exchange of human resources, academic exchange, joint research, and other collaborative efforts to foster knowledge exchange for the mutual benefit of both countries.

Cabinet Secretary Machogu expressed his profound gratitude for Japan's longstanding contributions to the Kenyan education sector.

He specifically acknowledged Japan's instrumental role in establishing the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), along with its continued support for research initiatives at the university.

Looking towards the future, Machogu unveiled plans to steer 60 per cent of students enrolled under Kenya's Competence-Based Curriculum towards STEM fields.

He underscored Japan's crucial role in building capacity for STEM educators through the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa.

The dialogue further delved into strategies to bolster the foundation of STEM education at the secondary school level.

Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Belio Kipsang, emphasized the critical need for virtual labs to enrich the learning experience for students.

He additionally expressed a desire to expand the provision of science kits beyond the current reach of 200 secondary schools.

Principal Secretary for University Education & Research, Beatrice Inyangala, lauded the Japanese scholarship programs, citing their role as a catalyst for skills transfer – a vital component of Kenya's development agenda.

The meeting concluded with a focus on collaboration in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Principal Secretary for TVET, Esther Muoria, highlighted the need to bolster the technical skillset of trainers, ultimately ensuring enhanced training experiences for TVET students.

This high-level meeting serves as a testament to the commitment of both Kenya and Japan to fostering a robust educational partnership.

By working collaboratively, they aim to equip future generations with the requisite knowledge and skillsets to drive national development across a range of sectors.