, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – A new survey by the Centre for Public and Social International (CPS) shows 57.3 percent of Kenyans support the Jubilee government’s laptop project in schools.
Releasing the report on Tuesday at a Nairobi hotel, CPS regional director Dann Mwangi said those in support say this will increase the level of ICT knowledge among students in the country.
They say the laptops will advance access to education materials in schools, encourage early exposure to IT and promote IT growth and development 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.
The report also indicates that 41.4 percent are against the laptop project saying the government should first ensure that basic infrastructure in schools is improved.
“Those respondents that felt that the government does not have the capacity to offer free laptops to primary school pupils, at 24.6 percent, cited economic constraints, slow economic growth, a strained Kenyan economy among other reasons,” he said.
They also want the government to ensure there was substantial content in the laptops and to hire more teachers with better remuneration and also equip the teachers with basic IT skills.
Mwangi said many of the education stakeholders held the view that the government needs to adequately prepare on the project before embarking on it.
The research also shows that majority of Kenyans support the Free Primary Education (FPE), at 87.7 percent, because they are direct beneficiaries of the programme while 14.6 percent do not support.
The survey shows those who support are of the view that FPE offers quality education citing that many performing pupils are in public schools.
Mwangi however noted that the respondents suggested allocation of more funds to the programme and improved infrastructures in the school.
“Education stakeholders recommend that proper monitoring and evaluation of the programme need to be increased and head teachers need to be trained on how to properly manage finances and also the government should make more policies that will support Free Primary Education,” he stated.
Despite the continued teachers’ strike, the research shows that 67.7 percent of the respondent’s support banning of holiday tuition in schools saying students need to spend the holidays engaging in other activities that contribute to their social development.
Some 32.3 percent of the respondents however do not support the ban on holiday tuition in citing that students need time to revise on their studies.
The survey further established that a majority of the respondents, at 47.1 percent, support conversion of tertiary institutions to universities or university constituent colleges and among the reasons given are that they admit higher numbers of students and that there is easier access to higher education.
The respondents that do not support the conversion, at 37.6 percent, argued that the institutions are not well equipped to compete as fully-fledged universities and that they lack lecturers to offer quality teaching.
Also from the survey findings, majority of the respondents do not support scrapping of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination at 62.6 percent against 35.4 percent of the respondents.
“Those against scrapping of KCPE say the exam gives an opportunity for gauging a pupil’s academic capacity before s/he enrols to another level of education. Without the examination, there will be no motivation or goal for pupils to work towards in school.”
However, the respondents supporting scrapping of the examination said it does not promote educational empowerment.
The research carried out between May 5 and the month of June covered 11 counties in the country where 1,827 persons participated.