Bridging Ages Western Kenya

Background

Maseno University and Kisumu museum in western Kenya have cooperated with Linneaus University and Kalmar läns museum, Sweden, since 2012. Two Time Travels have been organized at the Kisumu railway station, 1973, using Mathematics in the Historic Environment. Representatives from Maseno University and Kisumu museum took
part in the Bridging Ages conference in Ngurunit last year and, coming back, decided to start a secretariat of Bridging Ages Western Kenya.

Conference in Kisumu

4th February 2015, Maseno University and Kisumu museum organized a conference in Kisumu as a way to launch Bridging Ages Western Kenya. The 70 attendances were university lecturers, museum officials, education officers, teachers of primary and secondary schools, religious leaders, college students, primary and secondary school pupils and also visitors from Linnaeus University and Kalmar läns museum. The presentation modes ranged from academic research presentations, discussions, dance and song. The mix in attendance and presentations were in itself a “Bridging of Ages”.

Presentations and Group Discussions

In the key note address, the Director of Education’s representative noted that an organisation like Bridging Ages will enable the ministry to use the community as a resource, through support, goodwill and co-operation. She encouraged mathematics teachers to use local heritage in mathematics education.

Other presentations were on “The Mean Score Syndrome” which has turned learners into examination robots; on “Dysfunctional Parenthood”, on “Transferable Knowledge”, our children are going to school, but are they learning? and “Parental Loss”. There were also presentations on the Time Travel method, Mathematics in the Historic Environment and from the Muslim and Christian communities.

Group Discussions: When do I learn best? Respect and values? Challenges facing Kisumu and how to address them? Heritage sites in Kisumu? Contribution of mathematics and heritage to education and community?

Conclusion and way forward

Many good ideas came from the group discussions, both challenges and opportunities. Maybe focus on a theme like diversity or communication in the future? The participants agreed on formalizing Bridging Ages, Western Kenya, bringing together the University, Colleges, Museum, Primary schools, Secondary schools, the Education Office and religious leaders. More than 50 participants wrote their names as a sign of commitment, the birth of Bridging Ages, Western Kenya. BAWK can be used to bridge the gap between different communities in Kisumu town and in the whole of Western Kenya.

Mildred Ayere
For the Secretariat of Bridging Ages Western Kenya