eKitabu Announces Results of the 8th Annual Digital Essay Competition: Winners from Mainstream and Special Needs Schools
September 24, 2020
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Over 1,800 students from 430 schools across all 47 counties of Kenya shared their voices andviews on how technology is helping them tackle remote learning challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.Nairobi, Thursday 24th September 2020: eKitabu, organizer of the Digital Essay Competition and leaderin delivering accessible digital content for inclusive and quality education in Kenya, today announcedwinners of the 8th annual Digital Essay Competition (DEC).Considering the coronavirus pandemic that saw all schools closed and all children at home since Marchthis year, students submitted essays and art online at essay.ekitabu.com to answer the 2020 question:“How is technology helping you, your family, and your community during the coronavirus pandemic?”Submission categories were Kiswahili, English, French, Art, Braille, Kenyan Sign Language (KSL), andGerman for all students in upper primary and secondary levels in Kenyan education, including allstudents from mainstream and special needs schools, public and private, countrywide. Will Clurman,CEO of eKitabu, noted, “All means all.”In KSL, Ruth Amondi of Maseno School for the Deaf in Kisumu and Neci Akoth of Nina School for theDeaf in Siaya emerged Grand Prize winner and 1st runner-up respectively.In Kiswahili, John Mark Nyongai of Thika High School For the Blind in Kiambu; Ann Gakii of MunithuSecondary School in Meru; and Maryanne Anyango Odongo of Aluor Mixed Primary in Siaya came top asGrand Prize winners.In English, Sherlin Maggy Anyango of East Park Academy in Nairobi; Humphrey Nyongesa of StareheBoys Centre and School in Nairobi; Saul Opiyo Otieno of St. Oda School for the Visually Impaired in Siaya;and Emmanuel Kirui of Thika High School for the Blind in Kiambu came top as Grand Prize winners.In Art, Munira Abdullahi of Samburu; Njuguna Jane Njeri of The Kenya High School in Nairobi; EzekielBoaz of Ebukuya School for the Hearing Impaired in Vihiga; and John Mark Nyongai of Thika High Schoolfor the Blind in Kiambu are the Art Grand Prize winners.In French, Reinnis Akinyi Vester of St. Francis Rang’ala Girls High School in Siaya and Elvis Aduwa ofStarehe Boys Centre and School in Nairobi emerged Grand Prize winners for French.In German, Jude Wairiuko of Maranda High School in Kilifi and Bryton Omari of Njiri School in Murang’aemerged Grand Prize winners for German.In English braille, John Owino of Kibos School for the Blind in Kisumu came top as Grand Prize winner.Mr. Fred Haga, Ministry of Education Director of Special Needs Education, said: “I’m happy to beassociated with the eKitabu Digital Essay Competition because it is a very important event and theCompetition provides the opportunity for learners with Hearing and Visual Impairment to participatealongside other learners in this essay competition. I’ve been very pleased with the standards and qualityof the Competition, and I’m confident that this year the standards may even surpass what they havebeen in past years.” Director Haga was also the Keynote Speaker at the award ceremony.Digital Essay Competition is free and open to all public and private, primary and secondary, mainstreamand special needs schools in Kenya. It was open from April to August 2020. The Competition seeks toadvance education through utilization of technology with teachers, learners, parents, and caregivers.Marking is done by a panel of judges that comprises competent teachers with wide experience inmarking language subjects for Kenya Primary and Secondary examinations; distinguished leaders fromKenya’s publishing industry; and leaders from public and private sector including Kenya Institute ofCurriculum Development and University of Nairobi. The judges first determine the top 15 essays percategory before selecting winners.This year’s major sponsors were The Embassy of France in Kenya, Moran Publishers EA, and Pearson. Toimplement the Competition, eKitabu collaborates with partners including Kenya Ministry of Educationand MOE Directorate of Special Needs Education (DSNE), Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE),Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Goethe-Institut Kenya, Kenya Institute for the Blind(KIB), Kenya Association of Teachers of French (KATF), Kenya Primary School Heads Association(KEPSHA), Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA), Kenya Publishers Association (KPA), KenyaSecondary School Heads Association (KESSHA), Education Development Trust (EDT), and University ofNairobi.VOICES OF 2020 DIGITAL ESSAY COMPETITION WINNERS“Binafsi teknolojia imekuwa ya msaada mkubwa mno kwangu. Kupitia kwa ‘’WhatsApp”, walimu washule yangu hutuma mitihani ambayo mimi hufanya na kurudisha majibu. Vilevile kuna masomo katika“viusasa” ambapo nina uwezo wa kuuliza maswali ya moja kwa moja vipindi vya runinga kama vileUbongo Kids, G3 na know zone vimekuwa vya msaaada mkubwa. Rununga ya Educhannel huleta piamasomo mpashara kutoka kwa taasisi ya nyumbani mtaala nchini. Haya yote hunifanya kukaanyumbani ili nikomeshe korona.” DAISY MORAA, NYAMAHARAGA P.A.G. PRIMARY, Migori County“Technology has ensured the continuity of education and parents' sanity. After weeks of schools beingclosed with the sole purpose of preventing the spread of the pandemic, there arose the need to ensurethe continuity of learning. Possibly the biggest challenge for parents is keeping children occupied andcontinuing their school work. To ensure this, the government has rolled out online learning platformswhere students take lessons and courses while teachers teach via live-streaming platforms. This ensuresthe students continue learning even at home.” MOHAMED KHALIF NOOR, MANDERA SECONDARY,Mandera CountyYOU WILL SOON LEAVEHello, Corona VirusMy name is technologyI care for humanityI have a message for youI heard the whole world fears youWell am not afraid of youYou think no one can outwit youJust relax soon I’ll surprise youI swear I won’t let you ruin humanityI will show you that indeed Iam technologyIt is just a matter of timeJust give me sometimeI swear you will soon leaveBecause this is not your place to live!HUMPHREY NYONGESA, STAREHE BOYS CENTRE AND SCHOOL, Nairobi County

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