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8 universities among 10 bidders competing to win 17B laptop tender

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TRISTAN MCCONNELL (FILES) Teacher Josephine Boke assists pupils from the Light House Grace academy in using the Kio tablet created by the local technology company BRCK Education, during a class sesssion in Kawangware, Nairobi, on October 16, 2015. At the Lighthouse Grace Academy in Nairobi's downmarket Kwangware suburb, yellow school t-shirts carry the slogan 'To Fear God is Wisdom', but in their hands pupils clutch a more worldly path to knowledge: tablet computers.The hand-sized tablets are part of the 'Kio Kit', a digital classroom in a suitcase  designed by local technology company BRCK, which two years ago launched the hard-wearing, brick-sized modem that works as a wifi hotspot. AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA
AFP PHOTO/SIMON MAINA

Local universities have taken the lion’s share of bidders shortlisted to manufacture and supply laptops to primary schools.

The Digital Literacy Program (DLP) Secretariat in the Ministry of ICT has released bid documents to 10 organisations and consortiums for the supply and installation of the Digital Learning Solution for 22,000 Public Primary Schools.

The laptop for every Standard one pupil is a Jubilee commitment made during the 2013 General Elections. It has been marred by delays and controversies forcing the President to move the project from the Ministry of Education to the ICT Ministry.

Kenyatta University, University of Nairobi, Moi University, JKUAT, Dedan Kimathi University (supported by Meru University) have been shortlisted as independent bidders.

Technical University of Kenya and MultiMedia University have entered bids in partnership with three local tech companies while Strathmore Research and Consultancy Centre has been shortlisted to present proof of concept which includes development of educational content.

BRCK’s KIO and Kytabu, a local education content startup will compete with the universities for the three slots. KIO is a rugged dust and water proof tablet that comes with a power kit and dynamic content.

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