, NAIROBI Kenya, Jul 23 – The government has been asked to enact proper policies before embarking on introducing ICT education in public schools.
Speaking at an education forum on ICT on Tuesday, Kenya Publishers Association Chairman Lawrence Njagi said poor infrastructure has led to slow uptake of technology.
“The ICT infrastructure has simply been inadequate and in most cases absent. We are talking about availability of power, trained teachers and machines themselves,” he lamented.
He asked the government to ensure it follows the right procedures in acquiring the information intended to be used.
“It is high time the government use proper procedures of procurement. All materials should be vetted as required by law,” he stated.
He noted that the move by the government will advance access to education materials in schools, encourage early exposure to IT and promote IT growth and development in the country.
On the issue of the controversial laptop project, Njagi said the government need to carry it out more carefully for the project to be successful.
“Our honest and selfish request is for the government to begin at the minimum level by constructing first the computer laboratories to be used,” he said.
“The same computer laboratories will be used by the students to access our online books,” he added.
Speaking on the same forum, e-Kitabu Chief Operating Officer, Will Clurman applauded the government for its plan to expand e-learning in schools.
He however asked the government to give local content priority when adopting the programmes to be used to teach the students.
“Kenyans publishers have the content. Our content must be Kenyan. We should teach from known to unknown,” he stated.
Clurman said the Jubilee laptop project was set to rate the country high in terms of ICT knowledge and accessibility among its citizen.
“This project is not for the president, it is for the future of this country. It means more than just giving school kids laptops,” he said.
A recent survey by the Centre for Public and Social International (CPS) showed 57.3 percent of Kenyans support the Jubilee government’s laptop project in schools.
Releasing the report, CPS regional director Dann Mwangi said those in support said this will increase the level of ICT knowledge among students in the country.
“Seventy-five percent of the respondents felt that the government has the capacity to offer free laptops to primary school entrants noting that given a lot of money is misappropriated, it can be diverted to fund the project and that the government can approach donors to partner among other reasons,” Mwangi revealed.