NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – The Ministry of Education is mulling placing all educational content available in textbooks on a digital platform to make it available to every student across the country.
While acknowledging that the current system of distributing textbooks in schools has not reached its target, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i stated that the new initiative will ensure universal access to all pupils.
“The process through which the Ministry of Education has been supporting schools to acquire reading material has been through handing out funds through the free primary education program and also supporting secondary schools,” he said.
It is so clear to us that the program has not been very successful because we expected that with the amount of money that we have spent on reading material, over Sh9 billion in the last three years alone, by now we should have achieved a one to one book: pupil ratio across the country which we have not,” he stated.
One of the reasons cited for the poor performance in the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Education examinations was a lack of students access to textbooks.
“We would not like to distribute books again in future. We now want all this content moved to the digital platform and we are going to now progressively move educational content to the education cloud so that it is available on the digital platform and can be accessed universally across the country,” Matiang’i indicated.
The CS further pointed out that students will only need an electronic device to access any book they want and that this will improve performance in schools.
“That is how we increase access to education. That is how we support every child across the country. They can’t buy a book, they will get the content available readily to them,” he said.
He stated that the emphasis being placed on expanding the digital footprint in the country which will make access to online content easier.
“We have seen recently from my colleagues at the Ministry of ICT, we are expanding the broad band footprint in the country and therefore this material can be accessed electronically,” he said.
The CS was speaking after flagging off the distribution of 7.7 million books under the Tusome initiative where the Ministry received Sh894 million grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) under the supervision of the World Bank to support the program.