Venue: UNES-Arziki Conference Centre Restaurant, Chiromo, CBPS
The Department of Chemistry under the School of Physical sciences in the College of Biological and Physical Sciences (CBPS), University of Nairobi held a workshop on Pedagogy, Andragogy and Mentorship Training from January 29-31, 2020 in Chiromo Campus UNES Conference Centre. The facilitators of the workshop came from CEPA (Center for Pedagogy and Andragogy) and supported by Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) which is a partnership working with Kenyan academics to engage employers and alumni from the healthcare, chemical and pharmaceutical industries to develop new needs-based pharmacy and chemistry curricula in Kenya that will address shortages of specific skills in the workforce. It is aiming to embed a new learning culture within Kenyan universities by increasing the capability of academic staff and developing new institutional policies and practices to deliver innovation and improved education. It will also provide new public and private sector placements to increase the skills and employability of graduates, and work towards better outcomes for women and people from underserved communities. In attendance, there were various stakeholders who are the partners in the SPHEIR program. They included the University of Nottingham, Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and Maseno UniversityMaasai Mara University, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, GlaxoSmithKline and International Pharmaceutical Federation
The workshop was graced and opened by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius A. Ogeng’o, The Principal College of Biological and Physical Sciences, Prof. Bernard O. Aduda, the Dean of School of Physical Sciences, Prof. Kerubo Leonidah Omosa, and the Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Prof. John M. Onyari……………..
The aim of the workshop was to promote the quality of chemistry teaching methods and techniques as well as highlight on issues pertaining curriculum development in the Department of Chemistry in order to improve the quality of chemistry-based courses and produce better graduates who would become competent problem solvers in the world.
The Director Quality Assurance, Mr. Michael Wangai highlighted some key points like Internal QA practices, External QA practice, Mapping Programs to Global standards, Good versus Best practices and Beta mode as key points in contribution to the training agendas of the conference.
He also pointed out that quality assurance in higher education entails: systematic, on-going and continuous process of evaluating the quality of programmes and emphasized on self-regulation, self-evaluation, self-assessment and self-improvement as opposed to policing from external accreditation and professional bodies.
Various stakeholders facilitated different topics including
- Application of quality assurance standards in chemistry curriculum development and implementation;
- Engaging and activating students in teaching and learning;
- Developing competency-based objectives and applying problem-based learning in teaching;
- Integration of learning technologies in chemistry teaching;
- Applying teaching skills for large classes;
- Conducting stand-alone chemistry practical lessons, micro kits,
- Aligning the curriculum needs and outcomes;
- Experiential learning in Chemistry
- Gender equity issues in higher education chemistry teaching;
- Preparation of lecturer and students’ mentorship programmes in chemistry.
The conference was viewed as a great move towards improvement of teaching in the Department of Chemistry.