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Technology Boot Camp Inspires Character and Innovation for Students in Kenya

By Naomi Yakawich

KENYA, March 15, 2019—Global Peace Foundation (GPF), in partnership with Oracle Academy and the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), held a one-day “Code with Oracle” boot camp at CEMASTEA and Kenya Science under the theme, “Learn, Innovate, and Create.”

Students work with mentors from CEMASTEA and Oracle Academy during a Code with Oracle Boot Camp

The boot camp was attended by 97 students and 17 teachers from 10 public secondary schools who engaged in sessions to expand their technical and soft skills for the twenty-first-century job market. The camp incorporated Oracle technology, dividing students by groups for specialized mentorship from CEMASTEA educators.

“I think it is time as a country we recognize and understand that the revolution that is coming is anchored in technology and innovation,” said the Director of CEMASTEA Mr. Stephen Njoroge. “That is why it is important for students to learn these skills at an early age and apply it not only after school but also to solve problems at school, community and the country at large.”

Code with Oracle techonology boot camp in Kenya

Boot camp participants learned Java fundamentals at the CEMASTEA ICT lab with Mr. Nelson Ochieng’, a Java instructor and Lecturer at Strathmore University, and attended sessions at Kenya Science for Introduction to Databases with Mr. Vincent Omwenga, a Database Instructor and lecturer at Strathmore University. The project-based classes took students through a tour of Oracle Apex and Alice, an open-source object-based educational programming language with an integrated development environment.

“Today is not about competition,” said Mr. Benard Obiero from Oracle. “Today is about learning and using what you learn to be creative and innovate so as to create something, hence the theme ‘Learn, Create, and Innovate’ using Oracle Technologies. As a company that majors in technology, we know the skills required and as we have been doing recruitment, we have noticed a skill gap. That is why, as a company, we find this really important—to equip students as young as high school with these skills.”

The boot camp concluded with a judging process spearheaded by Mr. Daudi Chigoyo, Cloud Platform Manager from Oracle Kenya and Ms. Diana Kwamboka, Education Director for GPF Kenya. “The students have come up really amazing projects within this short period,” commented Mr. Chigoyo. “Notably, the girls were creative and consistent in their project work as compared to the boys.”

Winning teams were comprised of students from Jamhuri High School, BuruBuru Girls, and Kariobangi North Girls who also had the opportunity to showcase their project during the Oracle Cloud Day on March 22 at Oracle.

GPF Kenya and Oracle Academy’s partnership will continue to train teachers on Java and Database technologies in ongoing sessions with schools in the participating counties. Ten schools from four counties participated in the latest technology and education boot camp, including BuruBuru Girls, Machakos School, Jamhuri High School, Kariobangi North Girls, Rombo Secondary, Ole Kajiado Secondary, Precious Blood Riruta, Moi Forces Academy, Mary Leakey Girls, and Maina Wanjigi Secondary School.

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