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Higher Education PS urges scientists to communicate effectively.

23rd February 2016.

Scientists need to develop appropriate communications skills and create new ideas and debunk myths surrounding genetically modified foods (GMO’s) and other new emerging technologies.

While officially opening a two days communications training workshop for scientists drawn from the bio safety authority board and bio safety appeals board at Maazoni, the Principal Secretary State Department of Higher Education Prof. Collette Suda said,“as you are aware, concerns on safety of GMO’s is still an important topic worldwide as evidenced by public statements that we observe in the media”.

Prof. Suda regretted that a lot of misconceptions have been made concerning new technologies in science and appealed to scientists to strengthen their communication and design appropriate messages for targeted groups.” You cannot change people’s mindset and behaviour about new technologies if you do not develop sustained communication for them to believe you”, said the PS.

She asked research organizations to encourage public-private partnerships in order to boost resource mobilization to enable them support their projects.

The main objectives of the training workshop is to enhance the Boards’ skills on effective communication on regulatory processes and safety of biotechnology and its products; principles of message development on biosafety, regulatory process and biosafety decisions.

The training has been organized by the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) in collaboration with the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA AfriCenter) and the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS).

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The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is responsible for national policies and programmes that help Kenyans access quality and affordable, school education, post-school, higher education and academic research.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology derives its mandate from the Constitution of Kenya, Chapter Four Articles 43, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, and 59 have provisions on children s right to free and compulsory basic education, including quality services, and to access education institutions and facilities for persons with disabilities that are integrated into society, to the extent compatible with the interests of the person. This includes the use of Sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication, and access to materials and devices to overcome constraints arising from the person s disability. There are also provisions on access for youth to relevant education and training; access to employment; participation and representation of minorities and marginalized groups in governance and other spheres of life, special opportunities in educational and economic fields, and special opportunities for access to employment. The rights of minorities and marginalized groups to reasonable access to water, health services and infrastructure are also enshrined, as it is incumbent upon government to develop a culture of human rights, promote gender equality and equity and facilitate gender mainstreaming in national development.



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