NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – The government says all is set for the distribution of over 1.2 million laptops and other electronic devices to all public primary schools from Friday.
Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru stated that qualified ICT officials have already been deployed to the counties and sub-counties as quality inspectors to oversee installation of the devices.
Mucheru indicated that the experts will also offer quality technical support for the program which is to be headed by all Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries.
“We are in the process of ensuring that the local market also take up the manufacturing and delivery of the devices. The teachers are also being trained on how to use the electronic devices in the classrooms and this will ensure that as we continue, this will be a long term project,” he said.
Mucheru said the initiative will play a critical role in enabling Kenya achieve the status of a knowledge-based economy.
“We are now starting on a journey that will without a doubt transform not just the education sector but the entire economy. When we put these devices in the hands of our children, we are securing not just their future but that of the country and look forward to being a global IT power house in a few years,” he said.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i further pointed out that his ministry is working towards developing a curriculum for teachers so that they may be qualified to teach various subjects using the digital platform.
“I have required the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development working together with our teacher training institutions to see how we will build into our teacher training programmes capacity to deliver content in a digital platform,” he said.
The devices including laptops for teachers and tablets for pupils, are fitted with KICD approved content, and was one of Jubilee Government’s key campaign pledge.
The programme is being implemented through a multi-stakeholder approach, bringing together different ministries, departments and agencies. Towards this end, all the Cabinet Secretaries and PSs will lead the distribution of devices to the schools in different parts of the country over the next one month.
“‘Throughout October, all Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries will travel to different public primary schools where they will oversee the delivery and installation of the devices,” Matiang’i said during the press briefing.
“Since the programme was conceptualised, we have always ensured that we involve as many stakeholders as possible. This is because there are different facets to the project that cannot be handled by one agency.”
In addition to enhancing learning and teaching in schools, the programme has had ripple effects in different areas across the country which include access to power connectivity, increased security as well as schools benefitting from improved infrastructure.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter stated that the ministry has almost concluded connecting all schools to the electricity grid or giving them solar systems. “The ministry has requested schools which may have been inadvertently left out to contact them.”
The country-wide rollout follows a successful pilot that was undertaken in May and June.
Under the pilot, also referred to as Proof of Concept (POC) phase, three schools from every county and nine special education received the devices and have since been using them in teaching and learning.