, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – President Mwai Kibaki says that there is need for the integration of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in education to ensure the provision of quality learning and training.
He stressed the essence of ICT to integrate all related sectors towards the provision of the required infrastructure and manpower necessary for development in the education sector.
“The government has initiated a programme to integrate ICT in the teaching of science and mathematics. We have established the centre for Mathematics, science and technology for Africa,” he said during the start of an e-learning conference where he emphasised the development of ICT as an alternative teaching tool.
“This programme is gradually being rolled out to cover other subjects.”
He stated that the government was also in the process of establishing a National ICT Innovation and Integration Center to enhance the country’s ICT uptake.
“This will empower education institutions to adopt and utilise technology in knowledge acquisition and sharing,” revealed the President.
This is in line with the conference theme which is “Transforming education through E-learning.”
He said that the e-learning conference would ensure that Kenya is at par with other countries in Information Communication and technology.
“ICT is providing us with tools that were unimaginable just a few years ago. For instance the advent of the Internet has led to easier sharing of information among our people. The virtual class where teachers from any part of the world can teach students in the most far-flung parts of the globe is now possible,” he said.
“Students now access their examination results through a simple SMS sent via a mobile phone. Educators and students now have at their disposal tools that are making E-learning a reality,” he stated.
He challenged both teachers and students to use these ICT tools to empower themselves for their development. He said that the Government’s priority has been to lay a foundation for economic and technological growth.
He stated that this entailed moving rapidly from an agriculture-based economy to an industrial and service-driven one.
President Kibaki explained that the National ICT Policy recognises the major role that ICT plays in poverty eradication through effective use of technologies.
The Policy aims at stimulating investment in the ICT sector while at the same time encouraging the spirit of innovation through research and development.
He said that the use of ICT in education and training will overcome the challenges of time and location leading to flexible and lifelong learning.
The Head of State added that the Government has played its part in terms of creating an enabling environment for the ICT sector to thrive as a key driver of the economy.
“We are also committed to the achievement of ‘Education for All’ goals and the aspirations of Vision 2030. Integration of ICT in Education will go a long way in making this a reality by enhancing quality, equity and access to educational and training opportunities,” he stated.
He said that for ICT in education to succeed, all related sectors must collaborate and work towards providing the required infrastructure and manpower necessary.
He explained that in Kenya, the Ministry of Energy has given priority to the provision of electricity to all learning institutions through the rural electrification program.
He said that the Ministry of Information and Communications was leading the government’s initiative of laying fibre optic cables around the country for improved data and information sharing.
The Ministry of Education, he pointed out is also driving the initiative to increase access to quality education. The Government has embraced the idea of alternative teaching through use of technology.