The Topical Issues
On May 29, 2020, Impact Borderless Digital (IBD) conducted an international Zoom Forum on the topic: Education 4.0: Talents, Skills Development and Resilience During and After COVID-19. The topics covered included borderless learning resources, digital fluency, digital economy, and global citizenship.
The Forum Organisation
The Founder of IBD, Nashon Adero, was the main facilitator of the session assisted by Job Ogwenoh, a media expert and the CEO of Tsavo Media Group, Kenya. The Youth Secretariat was composed of IBD mentees and young professionals and postgraduate students from Taita Taveta University (TTU): Dickson Wachira, Khadija Omar, Emmanuel Kiamba, and Beda Ogola (AIMS scholar and statistician). They reflected on their journey of scholarship and benefits from mentorship under the IBD Series. They had helped organise previous mentorship meetings and were, therefore, already experienced hands (http://impactborderlessdigital.com/our-programs/).
The IBD Founder’s Remarks
In his opening remarks, Nashon reminded the youth to work hard on networking and skilling themselves to be competitive global citizens empowered with transferable skills and digital fluency. He also introduced the key tenets and opportunities of the gig economy, sustainable development goals, and the 4Ds youth must cultivate for boundless influence: Discipline, Diligence, Determination, and Dignity. He explained the concept of Education 4.0 and linked it to the trending wave of digital revolution in Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution (the Internet of Things/System). Education 4.0 is about leveraging contextual intelligence using technological innovation. He noted that the disruptive, distractive, destructive, and distancing disease of COVID-19 has made a compelling case for integrating technology into progressive pedagogical frameworks. Online learning resources and change makers such as Khan Academy, Udemy, Cousera, Ashoka, among others, were shared.
The Guest Speakers
Harry Mwailengo, Sote Hub Manager, Ashoka Change Maker, and Obama Foundation Fellow, on global citizenship from the unapologetic perspective of volunteerism. Volunteerism took the centre stage a prerequisite for borderless influence, prompting a recall of several quotes, among them being “Brands volunteer their gifts first for fun for free for friends and following full refinement and fruition they get deployed for a fortune for firms,” Nashon Adero(2018), Founder, IBD. Harry Mwailengo reiterated that volunteers are usually not paid, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless. He challenged the youth to measure up to the challenge of volunteering as a key entry point into meaningful influence and global citizenship. David Ogiga, Chairman of the Association of Hubs in Kenya, reinforced the points.
Dr. Mjomba Majalia, a lecturer of Communication Skills at Taita Taveta University, spoke on the importance of communication skills and packaging oneself to be compelling and convincing enough to be hired in the competitive marketplace. Isaiah Olando, a doctoral student from Bonn, Germany, presented on the amplifying role of technology in new educational approaches – complete with the benefits of agility, scalability, and resilience. He briefly talked on the prospects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for educational revolution as well. He attributed Germany’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic to the robust technology and health infrastructure in place. Noah Mutai, his fellow doctoral student from Berlin, shared on the prospects of Data Science for intelligent decision making based on (big) data in the face of rising complexity in the new era.
Diana Achieng, a Biochemistry student at Masinde Muliro University, expounded on how her discipline is informing the fight against COVID-19 through laboratory tests. Francis Gitau, MSc (Mining) student at Taita Taveta University (TTU), shared on how he acquired GIS skills through self-drive, mentorship, networking, and training at Esri Eastern Africa, Nairobi. His colleagues, Dickson Wachira, Emmanuel Kiamba, John Okwaro, and Milton Kimori had tips to share on the benefits of the DAAD scholarship they received at TTU and the exposure they got in Germany through the educational funding arrangement. From Spain, Fridah Valencia, an alumna of TTU studying MSc in Environmental Engineering, briefly shared on the scholarship and research partnership opportunities available in Spain.
The Key Take-Away Message
The interactive Zoom session enjoyed the length of time it was allocated, more than two hours. The audience, mainly college students, asked questions and received answers from the experts on board. Facing the stiff competition in the job market and the disruptive effects of COVID-19 formed the main reference points. The following points summarise the pointed message.
Links to resources:
Recorded seminar: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/1P1rNbju0l9IeI3_-X7eZr8bAoK0X6a8gHQY__BenUpxEE64opaHRIJgLCcgvUeC Password: 0b#1!f#*
Keywords for young researchers: https://medium.com/@hopadero/keywords-the-building-blocks-of-authentic-communication-23514d9aa864
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