Billions set aside for free laptops

June 13, 2013 4:59 pm
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Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich, Planning Secretary Anne Waiguru and senior Treasury officials. Photo/MARGARET WAHITO
Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich, Planning Secretary Anne Waiguru and senior Treasury officials. Photo/MARGARET WAHITO

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – The government has allocated Sh53.2 billion for the deployment of laptops, which is the Jubilee government’s flagship project.

In his maiden Budget Statement before the National Assembly on Thursday, National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said they have allocated a total of Sh53.2 billion for deployment of 1.35 million laptops to class one pupils, development of digital content, and building capacity of teachers and rolling out computer laboratory for Class 4 to Class 8 students in all schools throughout the country.

“The government has prioritised transforming the educational system to e-teaching and e-Learning. When fully implemented the policy will reduce the cost of buying and replacing text books, and improve access to information, communication and technology in schools and households,” he said.

Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi last month said the government has identified 6,000 primary schools that will pioneer the ambitious laptop-for-schools project just six months away.

Kaimenyi had told the House Committee on Education that Sh75 billion will be required for a one-off implementation of the Jubilee government’s pledge to see all pupils joining schools get laptops.

However, the project will be implemented in three phases, the first of which is projected to cost Sh22 billion. According to Kaimenyi, each laptop will cost Sh28,000, a sum that may be out of reach for many parents in public schools whose children are covered by the project.

After phase one, over 7,000 schools will be targeted for the second and third phases, which will be done in the second and third year respectively.

Rotich allocated Sh10.3 billion for free primary education, Sh2.6billion to the school feeding programme, Sh20.9 to free day secondary education and Sh1.17 billion for Secondary Schools bursaries.

Rotich further set aside Sh800 million to upgrade the National Schools and another Sh4.9 billion has been allocated for Higher Education Loan and Sh826 million for youth polytechnics.

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