eKitabu Tunaenda Digital Newsletter February 2022

Dear Friends,

This year marks the 10th annual Digital Essay Competition (DEC) in Kenya. In past years, DEC has engaged over 59,298 students with and without disabilities and their teachers across all 47 counties of Kenya. Each year students participate in DEC by developing original essays or art and submitting their entries online at essay.eKitabu.com. Winners receive scholarship money, computing devices, and national recognition from MOE. Through DEC, learners with the help of teachers, parents and caregivers develop and express their ideas in their own voices. And they get feedback. DEC has grown with the support of Kenya Ministry of Education, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, students, publishers, teachers, parents and caregivers.

Here are a few of the student voices of 2021:

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, students like me attended classes online due to the impromptu closure of schools. It also altered the education calendar term dates confusing both the parents and students.” Magret Faith, Medula Academy student in Siaya County.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s hygiene improved a lot because washing of hands with soap and water was a must before you enter any room. Everyone was also required to wear a mask and no greetings by shaking hands were allowed. The lives of many people changed and people have learned to live with the virus following the rules and regulations provided by the ministry to curb the spread of the virus.” Mary Olumasaji, St. Clare Ebukuya Special Secondary School in Vihiga County.

“Family warmth and bonding are very important. Most of the time I was away from home for studies. After the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I had enough time at home to interact with my parents and siblings.” Nicodemus Mutuku, Makueni Boys High School in Makueni County.

“In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, all schools and recreation centers were shut down. I really found it challenging to study at home and as a result, I failed my first exam after schools opened.” Daniel Tali, Mtwapa Elite Academy in Mombasa County.

I am glad to share with you that we are developing a network among students who participated in DEC. This network will help us get to know the needs of learners and writers better, possibly to help them publish or help in other ways that we can only find out by staying in touch, as we have done with some and are now doing wider. If you or someone you know has ever participated in DEC and would like to be part of the DEC alumni network, please let us know at support@ekitabu.com.

Warmest regards,
Will

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