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ixteen eager salespersons of Copy Cat Ltd. (Godrej's authorised dealer in Kenya) and Gestetner Ltd. (a sister concern of Copy Cat Ltd.), from Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Nyanza, Embu, Kijabe Street and Nairobi Industrial Area, came together on 8 May at Gestetner Ltd., Nairobi, for a training session on Godrej Security Equipment products.
Their day began with a brief introduction by Neelam Pal, Director, Copy Cat Ltd., on the need for training in these products.
Fredrick Correa, Senior Market Manager, commenced the first session with an introduction on the qualities of a good salesperson, the different ways of identifying the needs of customers through open and closed probes, and other aspects of salesmanship, such as when salespeople should be active, passive or aggressive, and how product knowledge will enhance their confidence in the market.
The trainees learnt about the different varieties of Godrej safes ?fire-resistant, non-fire-resistant, burglar-resistant, burglar- and fire-resistant and data safes. Before recommending a safe, the trainees were told to take into account factors such as the weight and the dimensions, including the space available to open the safes or the drawers of fire-resisting filing cabinets (FRFC), as well as the customer's specific requirements.
The superior features of Godrej Defender Plus safes were enumerated.
A written quiz was conducted after the tea break.
Next, a practical demonstration of a stand-alone combination lock was given. A detailed explanation of the FRFC was also given. Participants were told how the Godrej FRFC was superior to other similar looking filing cabinets.
After lunch, the participants were taken to the showroom for practical demonstrations of various safes and FRFCs.
A second written quiz, this time on the Godrej FRFC, was conducted. Six prizes were given away to the participants who scored the highest in both the quizzes. A set of brochures containing details of all the Godrej Security Equipment products was given to each participant. Their queries were answered in a Question and Answer session.
During the Open House session, the participants made various comments and suggestions, which were forwarded to the Copy Cat Ltd. Management for consideration. The participants were also asked to fill out a feedback form. Two participants found the training "satisfactory", one found it "good", four rated it as "very good", while nine thought it was "excellent". They now await a similar training session in the near future.
Exhibition For Kenyan Schools
he Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KSSHA) conducted a Conference-cum-Exhibition on "Meeting the Challenges of Secondary Education in Modern Kenya" from 21st to 25th June, 2004 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, about 20 kilometres from Nairobi. The Conference was officially inaugurated by Hon. Prof. George Saitoti, Minister for Education, Science and Technology. Prof. Saitoti also delivered the Keynote Address.
Copy Cat Ltd. and Gestetner Ltd. put up two stalls at the exhibition. Godrej Security Equipment products were displayed at the Gestetner Ltd. stall, which was manned by trained salespeople.The Heads/Principals of the schools were explained the need for fire-resisting safes and filing cabinets. The school officials could not place any orders at the stall, because their requirements needed to be approved by their respective Board of Directors. However, they listed their requirements in the Visitors' Book. We received inquiries from all over Kenya, which will be attended to in the near future. Suitable quotations will be given by the Branches, and will be followed up for final orders.
We wish to thank Neelam Pal, Director, Copy Cat Ltd. for personally supervising the setting up of the stall, for ordering the appropriate display material and making the stall attractive by placing fresh flowers at vantage points.
CHANGE presents extracts from a speech delivered by HON. PROF. GEORGE SAITOTI, EGH, M.P., Minister for Education, Science and Technology, on the occasion of the official opening of the 2004 Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association National Conference held at Kasarani, Nairobi on 22 June, 2004. Readers may wonder: What has it got to do with CHANGE? Firstly, it makes us realise how lucky we are. We should be thankful that employees' children studying in the Godrej-run Udayachal Schools do not face the sort of problems that students in Kenya have to, viz. drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, strikes?Our children study in the best of environments with excellent teachers. Moreover, in India, the newly-elected Government has realised that our children are the future of this country, and is providing better educational facilities for the poor. The speech by the Kenyan Minister for Education reveals some of the challenges facing the education sector in Kenya.
Meeting The Challenges Of Secondary Education
am happy to be here today to mark the official opening of the annual National Conference of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association. My Ministry considers this Conference an important forum for reflection of our resolve as a nation towards meeting the challenges faced by our education sector.
Our children must be provided with high-quality education that empowers them to operate within the global environment. Only with appropriate education and skills can they and their country remain competitive in the increasingly globalised world.
To facilitate dialogue on our education system, the Ministry convened the National Conference on Education and Training in November 2003, which brought together all stakeholders and partners in education, including students. The overall purpose of the Conference was to dialogue over our education system in the rapidly changing social, economic and cultural environment.
The challenges of the 21st century require that we place education and training at the centre of development efforts. In that endeavour, the type of education and training required must be different from what we have had in the past because we do not train for an individual nation but for the world at large. For this reason, managers of our institutions must develop new approaches to curriculum implementation. You as managers must appreciate this need and facilitate the necessary changes.
During the Conference cross-cutting issues and challenges pertaining to equity, the girl child, equality, quality, transition, relevance, retention and access were given high priority. For example, it was pointed out that in the past we have tended to ignore gender, regional and social disparities in access, retention and transition. We were asked to address these issues and ensure equity in access.
In responding to these challenges, there is need to take stock of the achievements so far made and to revisit the reforms currently being undertaken in education. We need to collectively agree on the way forward for our education system by answering the following questions:
How best to meet the challenges of education in the 21st century and particularly accessing education to all? In answering this question, we need to develop strategies on capacity building amongst key stakeholders such as Boards of Governors (BOG), teachers, parents and students to enable them to play their roles effectively.
Another key question is how to deal with the current regional, social and economic disparities. We also need to discuss emerging issues of HIV/AIDS, and drug and substance abuse that plague our education system.
In addressing the challenges of drug and substance abuse, the tendency has been to condemn and expel the victims of drug abuse. This is most unfortunate given their age and the enormous pressures the children come under. The Ministry's policy is that the answer to this problem lies in protecting those not yet affected and rehabilitating the victims. Let all of us remember that the sick need help, not condemnation, and that, as parents, we have a duty to our children.
In all these matters, the role of the Head Teacher/Principal in ensuring the delivery of quality education and safety of children is extremely essential. The type of leadership one gives will determine our success or failure. As such, Head Teachers must provide effective leadership that creates a conducive learning/teaching environment.
In all your endeavours as Heads, you must bear in mind that your goal is to mould your students into good citizens, men and women who will steer our country into a better future. However, you cannot achieve this goal without adopting management styles that instil democratic values in the lives of your students and those with whom you work. My message to you is that you must provide a team leader who carries everybody along with him or her in all school programmes.
As leaders you need to develop visions and missions for your schools and share these with all your partners. Please remember that a vision which is not shared and owned by all is doomed to fail. For this reason, you need to seriously dialogue with your partners and agree on the best way forward.
Our education system is facing serious challenges that threaten the gains we have made in the past. Unless these challenges are addressed urgently, they are likely to affect the current and future development of education. I wish to reiterate that my Ministry is fully committed towards using all available resources and strategies to alleviate current constraints in secondary education. However, our efforts will achieve little unless you as managers become change agents. Therefore, as the society around us changes, let us also change our way of doing things.
For any school to improve its performance, its leadership should be able to effectively coordinate services related to curriculum implementation and provide prudent financial management to ensure effective utilisation of resources for the benefit of both the staff and students. In addition, as managers, you need to strategise on how to solve problems and provide a participatory approach for better results. This can only be achieved if Head Teachers are equipped with modern management skills to continuously improve performance.
It is important to note that discipline of students is a key challenge to all of us. I am aware that our youth continue to suffer from unethical influences, which have adversely affected discipline in secondary schools. Consequently, we have witnessed strikes and deviance of school authority by some students, violence and destruction of school property and other related criminal practices and drug and substance abuse.
I urge you to establish modalities that promote dialogue and cultivate democratic governance through participatory and "open door" leadership. This should be combined with guidance and counselling. If these are well done, we should be able to reduce cases of indiscipline in schools.
The HIV and AIDS pandemic have negatively affected the gains made in the education sector. The pandemic has affected and infected parents and teachers, making them less able to meet their obligations. To address the needs of the poor, Kenya shillings 770 million (Rs. 45 crores) was provided in the 2003-2004 budget as bursary funds. The new modality of administering the bursary scheme at constituency level is to enable the communities to identify those in need and give them adequate support.
The new mode of bursary disbursement has generated public debate, which should benefit from the following facts:
I have noted the topics you intend to cover during this Conference. I am convinced that these topics support school-based opportunities and actions for the growth of our education. I have no doubt that this Conference will have a far-reaching positive impact towards quality delivery of education services in all our schools. With these remarks, it is now my great pleasure to declare this 38th Annual General Conference for Head Teachers officially open.