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China to Empower Youth and Bring Satellite TV Programmes to African Villages

StarTimes, that serves an estimated 10 million subscribers with a signal covering the continent, has employed 4000 Africans in more than 30 countries, with more jobs are being created through a dealer network in urban Africa.

By Irene Gaitirira Published July 28, 2017 China is set on providing training and jobs for African youth, setting up television programme production and dubbing centres in African countries and bringing satellite television programmes to villages across the continent. Pang Xinxing, President of Chinese firm StarTimes, has announced more jobs for the more than 226 million African youth aged 15-24 years through the China-Africa Cooperation announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the South African commercial capital, Johannesburg, in 2015. RELATED:Reproductive and Maternal Health Care Centre Comes to Northern Kenya “Since StarTimes entered the African market in 2002, it has grown rapidly in creating opportunities for Africans, especially young people,” Pang said during an event known as YouthConnekt Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. He said StarTimes, that serves an estimated 10 million subscribers with a signal covering the continent, has employed 4000 Africans in more than 30 countries, with more jobs are being created through a dealer network in urban Africa. RELATED:East African Governments Fight Immorality Moreover, Pang said StarTimes is empowering young Africans with professional training to make them more competitive. For instance, he said, his organisation had held the first Star TV Drama Dubbing Contest in Tanzania and taken 10 contestants to StarTimes Headquarters in Beijing where they underwent professional dubbing training. Pang said StarTimes would undertake a 10000 African Village Satellite television project under the China-Africa cooperation that would give rural area-based people with what he called a better understanding of the world through information. RELATED:African Renewable Energy Projects Win Co-Development Facility competition Meanwhile Rwanda’s digital broadcasting and production infrastructure has received a shot in the arm with US$7 million grant from the Government of China through StarTimes. “The dabbing and production house will facilitate both private and public television houses in the country to produce quality …

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Kenya Changes Its Basic Education System

Dr Jwan of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development talks about the missystem of education.ion of the new 2-6-3-3 s

By Ogova Ondego Published July 24, 2017 Kenya is reviewing its basic education system with a view to embedding in it a national values system and practical skills for learners. Julius Jwan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development that is in charge of the curriculum of primary and secondary schools, says the new system that shall have two years of pre-school, six years of primary school, three years of secondary school and a further three years of tertiary training (2-6-3-3) system shall replace the current 8-4-4 (eight years of primary, four of secondary and a further 4 of university) that has been in existence since 1985 and that does not seem to recognise pre-school training though one cannot join primary school without having attended it; it is referred to as 8-4-4 instead of 3-8-4-4. RELATED:Intern Gets Grounded in Culture and Development Dr Jwan, who spoke at the Embassy of Germany in Kenya during the ‘No Education, No Future’ on July 6, 2017 said the new system of basic education in Kenya shall lay emphasis on communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving,imagination and creativity,citizenship, digital literacy, and self-efficacy. Unlike the 8-4-4 whose curriculum he described as is being ‘rigid and prescriptive with limited flexibility’,’focusing on summative assessment and competition’, and laying emphasis on ‘Schooling and teaching’, the 2-6-3-3 that he said stresses ‘competence’ will be ‘flexible with Opportunities for specialisation’, have a ‘balance between formative and summative assessment and excellence’ and lay stress on ‘education and learning’. RELATED:Lack of Education and Mismatched Skills Hinder Africa’s Development Like the 8-4-4, the aims of the 2-6-3-3 shall be to achieve Kenya’s national goals of education that Dr Jwan listed as: Fostering nationalism, patriotism and national unity Promoting social, economic, technological and industrial needs for national development …

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Our Role in Ensuring School Bus Safety for Children

Kenya's Parliament passes Traffic Amendment Bill to enhance safety on school buses. Nation Media Group summarises what the bill says.

By Iminza Keboge and Simba-Safe Kenya Published July 21, 2017 A kindergarten pupil has been crushed to death by a school bus in which he was riding. The six-year-old boy from St Augustine’s Preparatory School in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa died on the spot after being run over by the back wheels of the bus when he fell through an opening on the floor of the bus. Whether children walk, are dropped off by their parents or take the bus to school, it is crucial that they – and the motorists around them – take proper safety precautions. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has issued guidelines for schools on transportation to help observe school bus safety for children in Kenya. RELATED:Nairobi’s Premier Critical Movie Platform Celebrates Youth Creativity Among other safety guidelines, NTSA recommends: lap/shoulder belt restraint system for use as directed; all children to travel in child-restraint system when transported in all motor vehicles and school buses to ensure safest ride possible; and mirrors to improve driver visibility in front and along both sides of school bus. NTSA also recommends that: passengers of all ages be taught safe driving and pedestrian behaviour regardless of the frequency of school bus use, and adult supervision on school buses focus on ensuring that passengers stay seated, using seat belts and occupant protection systems, keeping their arms and head inside the windows; assisting in emergency circumstances and passengers with special needs, escorting children across roadways; and  picking up and dropping off pupils only at designated stops. RELATED:Kenya Joins Global Capacity-Building Programme for Entrepreneurs A school bus driver, NTSA says, should: be fully in charge of the bus and pupils have the authority of a classroom teacher be responsible for the health, safety and welfare of each passenger conduct thorough pre-trip …

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Groups Championing Pregnant Girls’ Right to Education Could be De-Registered

Human Rights Watch say at least 8000 girls are expelled from school every year for getting pregnant.

By Khalifa Hemed Published July 8, 2017 The Government of Tanzania should end its hostile rhetoric toward civil society groups helping pregnant girls complete their education. Eighteen local and international non-governmental organisations have taken issue with Tanzania’s President John Magufuli’s statement on June 22, 2017 that pregnant girls cannot be allowed back to public school even after the birth of their children. They quote Magufuli as having said, “As long as I’m president, no pregnant students will be allowed to return to school” and that the young mothers could opt for vocational training or become entrepreneurs, but should not be permitted to pursue formal education in public schools. RELATED:British Charity Donates Books to Rwanda “Tanzania’s president and other top officials should be focusing on how to build the country by helping everyone complete their education and ending discrimination,” says Elin Martinez, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch in a Press Statement issued in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 6, 2017. “Protecting people’s rights not only helps them and their families, but strengthens the whole country.” The NGOs say that Mwigulu Nchemba, Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister, threatened on June 25 to de-register organisations that challenged the president’s ban on schooling for pregnant girls and teen mothers. “The government estimates that 30 out of every 100 girls dropped out of school due to pregnancy in 2015. Many schools routinely force girls to undergo pregnancy tests and expel girls who are found to be pregnant, give birth, or get married, bringing an early end to their formal education,” the NGOs say. RELATED:This is What Lola Kenya Screen Does Saying the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party pledged in its 2015 election manifesto to ensure girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy can continue their studies, the NGOs argue that President Magufuli and …

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More Questions Than Answers Dominate Kenya’s Critical Movie Platform

Movies, Discussion, Friendship and Business during 100th Lola Kenya Screen film forum at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi, Kenya.

By Iminza Keboge and Boera Bisieri Published June 28, 2017 What is a Kenyan story and how do we tell it well in film? Is it an African thing that your films have little dialogue? What is TORTURE about? Why did you choose a cat as a character in BEHIND THE SEEN? Did you have to paint a Muslim in NAZIF as a clean freak just because the Quran says one should be pure and clean? Isn’t a film like NAZIF more likely to cause division rather than unity between Christians and Muslims in Kenya? Those were some of the questions raised as Nairobi’s premier critical movie event convened for its 100th bi- monthly session at Goethe-Institut on June 19, 2017. In focus were four short films directed by Peter Kawa and Jimmy Gor of Film Lab Kenya, a group of moviemakers founded in 2014 that says it is ‘committed to producing life-changing content that influences people and provokes discussion.’ No sooner had the films—BEHIND THE SEEN and NAZIF by Gor and LIFEGUARD and TORTURE by Kawa—been screened than the directors were bombarded by questions from the more than 200 participant-strong floor of during the 100th Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) that has over the past 12 years become a training platform for moviemakers, event programmers, public speakers, cultural journalists and arts critics and others players in the arts and lifestyle sector that is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted. RELATED:Looking Beyond Nairobi’s 100th Premier Critical Movie Meeting The directors in focus—Gor and Kawa—took the questions in good faith, saying that their aim as Film Lab Kenya is to make films that spark conversation and raise issues like the ones movie enthusiasts had just raised. Responding to the issue …

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East Africa Grapples With a Children’s Refugee Crisis

Children play in a camp in Uganda that humanitarian assistance agencies say is on the verge of a children's refugee crisis.

By Still Hardy Published June 26, 2017 As the World Refugee Day was marked on June 20, 2017, the focus was on black Africa‘s Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya where children from South Sudan continue to flee to in search of safety. BBC Africa, that held special programmes to mark World Refugee Day 2017 reported that “Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than one in four of the world’s refugees – the largest number after the Middle East.” RELATED:Digital Art Exhibition and Puppet Theatre Performance Spring to Life as Nairobi Discusses Women in Politics United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that “more than 1.8 million people”–among them more than 1000 children per day–have crossed into neighbouring Uganda and Ethiopia “since violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013.” In just a year, UNICEF said “the population of refugees in Uganda has more than doubled from 500,000 to more than 1.25 million, making Uganda now host to the fastest growing refugee emergency in the world.” Terming it a ‘children’s refugee crisis’, Leila Pakkala, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, noted that “More than one million children have been forced from their homes in South Sudan, often amid horrific violence. Day after day, week after week, they are being received by countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. Despite great efforts on many fronts, the systems in these countries are tremendously stretched.” RELATED:Australian Book Celebrates Lola Kenya Screen Saying the Government of Uganda, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, World Food Programme of the United Nations (WFP) and other humanitarian partners on the ground are working tirelessly to respond to the more than 740,000 refugees who have arrived in Uganda since July 2016, UNICEF said that such dramatic numbers were placing excessive pressure on State and host community …

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Looking Beyond Nairobi’s 100th Premier Critical Movie Meeting

Lola Kenya Screen staff stand in front of the auditorium of Goethe-Institut in Nairobi in 2007.

By Iminza Keboge Published June 18, 2017 As Lola Kenya Screen (LKS) presents its 100th bi-monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) on June 19, 2017, Ogova Ondego, Managing Trustee and Creative Director of LKS speaks about what is in store for this movie platform for children and youth in eastern Africa in 2017 and beyond. What is Lola Kenya Screen and why does it exist? Lola Kenya Screen is a movie festival and skills-development and marketing platform focusing on children and youth in eastern Africa that seeks to integrating movie production with other socio-cultural and economic sectors in order to come up with a vibrant and sustainable motion pictures industry. RELATED:Short Fiction Contest for Africans Calls for Submission How many films has Lola Kenya Screen produced with the youth since inception? Though children and youth of Lola Kenya Screen have made more than 50 fictions, animations, documentaries and experimentals many of which have won or been nominated for prestigious awards–Jugend Medien Festival Berlin,Kids For Kids Africa, Africa Movie Academy Awards, World Summit on Media for Children–Lola Kenya Screen does much more than just produce movies. We equip children and youth with the skills to conceive, create, promote and consume high quality, audience-sensitive, culture-appropriate  content. With their skills, our children and youth are left to their own devices to do as they see fit in their families and communities. Any notable directors, actors or production engineers as a result of over 10 years and 100 film forums? Lola Kenya Screen, particularly its film forum, is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted.During the forum a selected short film is screened followed by an open discussion based on the production as pertains to universal moviemaking standards.The films exhibited and discussions arising from …

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Young Actors, MovieMakers and Community Developers to Converge in Nairobi

Wanjiku Mburu who is currently appearing on MACHACHARI series every Friday on Kenya's citizen TV

By Iminza Keboge Published June 9, 2017 She hangs upside down, spitting blood, moaning pitifully as if in excruciating pain, begging for mercy, several fresh cuts oozing with blood visible on her face. She is one of the many nameless bodies hanging in a nondescript dark room that resembles an execution chamber. Are these people, humans, or are they livestock carcasses in an abattoir? As screams and wails give way to a deathly silence, someone suddenly shows up. This is a summary of TORTURE, one of the eight films to be screened and discussed at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi, Kenya, during Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff), the longest running and most consistent movie gathering on the arts and entertainment calendar of Kenya’s capital. RELATED:Kenyan Actor Who Enjoys Playing ‘Bad’ Guys Speaks About His Real Career The meeting, on June 19, 2017, shall also see this premier critical movie platform mark its 100th monthly (bi-monthly since 2016!) meeting since its inception in 2005. TORTURE is a production of Film Lab, a group of young thespians and moviemakers that came into being in 2014 with the aim of creating ‘life-changing movie content that influences people and provokes discussion’. BEHIND THE SEEN, a film that explores the limits to which love and fear, driven by deep-seated secrets, can push a man; LIFE GUARD, a movie that looks at what could possibly go wrong when a supposedly well trained, well equipped and much sought after life saver is on duty; and NAZIF, the story of a distressed father searching for his child who has gone missing while his nature works for and against his quest, shall be shown on the BIG screen for players in the movie sector to appreciate as LKSfff, in its 12th year, marks its 100th gathering. RELATED:99th Lola Kenya Screen film …

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Nairobi Celebrates Art, Film, Heritage and Self Expression

New African Women are Bold for Change.

By Irene Gaitirira Published May 13, 2017 Despite rising inflation and mounting anxiety over impending general election in Kenya, the arts and entertainment calendar for May remains packed as attested to by African Arts & Entertainment Diary that is updated around the clock. Running at Nairobi National Museum the whole of May 13 is the 5th Nairobi International Cultural Festival on the theme ‘Celebrating Cultural Diversity’. This single day event brings together participants from all walks of life around the world to celebrate diversity in Art, Cuisine, Music, Dance, Handicrafts and Fashion. RELATED:African Arts & Entertainment Diary Coming hot on the heels of the cultural festival at Kenya’s house of culture and heritage are two art shows. The first exhibition, that runs through May 30, 2017 in the Temporary Gallery, is a display in text and images by Patrick Abungu and Okoko Ashikoye and it looks at the abolition of slave trade in East Africa and its legacy on contemporary Kenyan society of slave descent. The second show, in the Creativity Gallery, runs through June 30 and is by Michael Soi, Patrick Mukabi and Joseph Bertiers who are described as artists who do not flinch from controversial issues.And true to the description, their exhibition is titled Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums. Both exhibitions are aimed at celebrating the International Museum Day on May 18, 2017. RELATED:Nairobi’s Premier Critical Movie Platform Celebrates Youth Creativity Not to be forgotten are other art shows that have been running at Nairobi National Museum and Nairobi Gallery since April 2017. While the former, titled Hope: A Story of Courage & Sacrifice, ends on May 30, Transitions, the latter, ends on June 30. You can read more about them in the African Arts & Entertainment Diary of ArtMatters.Info. This paves way for the 26th …

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Evening of Film, Conversation and Friendship

Tufilamu Pictures, a moviemaking collective of young people who make award-winning experimental films

By Abdi Ali Published May 7, 2017 The audience started streaming into the auditorium 30 minutes ahead of time. This was to avoid missing out on the activities lined up on the programme of one of the most important monthly activities on the arts and entertainment calendar of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi: Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff). Hanging on the four walls of the auditorium at Goethe-Institut in the Nairobi CBD that evening of April 24, 2017 were thought-provoking paintings on a power struggle-instigated massacres in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland and the Midlands Gukurahundi regions. Though outlawed in the southern African country for allegedly ‘undermined the authority of President Robert Mugabe, the British Institute for Eastern Africa (BIEA) and Gothe-Institut had brought the artwork to Nairobi. The work, painted in red and brown hues resembling blood, had captions telling the story of the massacres perpetrated by the state led by Robert Mugabe who now urges Zimbabweans to ‘move on’ though many of those affected feel that the issue needs to be adequately discussed before it can be consigned to history. This is what artist Owen Maseko had captured in the exhibition titled Sibathontisele (“we drip on them burning plastic” in isiNdebele) and that provided the backdrop to Nairobi’s premier critical movie platform that was convening for the 99th consecutive month. RELATED:99th Lola Kenya Screen film forum to Focus on Acting Tufilamu Pictures, a moviemaking collective of young people who make award-winning experimental films, was to showcase its and reveal their secret to local movie lovers. Michael Njeru, an actor, scriptwriter and director with Tufilamu presented the formula of successful acting in the 5-minute ExpertSpeak slot. Njeru introduced the 3’I’s formula of acting to the gathering that, he said, is based the computer principle of Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO). The three …

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