A total of 45,000 female teachers in Kenya will now be able to learn out-of-classroom skills using redeemable points aggregated from use of mobile phone airtime.
On Tuesday, Kenya Women Teachers Association (Kewota) unveiled Soma na Bonga initiative in partnership with Safaricom and Rezial Group, tailored to benefit its members.
The two-pronged scheme offers members a ‘pay tuition with bonga points’ plan and access to a larger unlimited bandwidth of bundles for less money, to study online.
Kewota chief executive officer Ms Benta Opande said the initiative will enable female teachers to capitalise on the earned bonga points to enrol for various virtual professional courses.
Instead of paying in cash, members will cover their tuition fees with the bonga points for the courses offered by Rezial Group.
“For those without bonga points, we have negotiated with Safaricom on 10GB (unlimited) for Sh500 education data bundles, which will enable them complete a course,” Ms Benta said during the launch at a Nairobi hotel.
Courses on interview techniques, cyber security, professional communication, accounting, resume and cover letter writing, and psychometric tests are among those the teachers will benefit from, she said.
She claimed training opportunities offered by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Ministry of Education are limiting in terms of boosting their employability in other sectors.
“TSC and Ministry of Education have offered programs to teachers to build the pedagogical capacity of our members; these programs do not, however, expand the teacher’s marketability beyond the classroom,” she said.
“Therefore, as Kewota, we have decided to upgrade, adapt and widen the skills portfolio of individual teachers to equip them for jobs of tomorrow.”
With the initiative, she exuded optimism of Kewota members remaining competitively marketable in the changing working environment.
“Most of our members are challenged technologically yet, by 2022, the skills required to perform most jobs will have shifted significantly,” she said.
“There is, therefore, an urgent need to retool in workplace skills in the period leading up to 2022. Skills such as creativity, originality, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will increase their value in the market.”
She also noted the urgency of the members equipping themselves with skills on emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence as their demand is expected to rise in the new era.