NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – A total of 300 teams will be involved in the ongoing delivery of laptops to public primary schools countrywide as the government seeks to beat its December 2016 distribution deadline, according to the ICT Authority.
According to the authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert Mugo, about 400 ICT graduates have also been hired and will assist in the installation of the devices.
Each team will have 10 experts who have been picked from the ICT Authority, Teachers Service Commission, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Moi University and the Education Ministry among other government sectors.
The teams will be overseen by the 400 ICT graduates who fall under the Presidential Digital Talent programme.
The Digital Literacy Programme, whose implementation kicked off late last month, targets to deliver 1.2 million devices to Class One pupils in all the 23,951 schools by December this year.
“We will have two graduates in every sub-county. We plan to cover 10 schools per sub-county in October. In November and December, we will cover all schools in every single location,” Mugo revealed on Tuesday.
He pointed out that the teams have enhanced their skills from the initial roll-out stage, mainly involving Cabinet Secretaries and Permanent Secretaries, which has so far reached 400 schools countrywide.
“This is just the warm-up,” the ICT boss stated.
The CEO allayed fears over the safety of the devices, saying proper protection measures have been put in place.
“The Ministry of Education gave out money to schools for the acquisition of strong and high-quality storage cabinets. We also have burglar-proof classes to ensure the devices are safe,” he assured.
To troubleshoot the devices, the CEO said teachers have already been trained on how to do minor repairs, with a call centre available to give directions.
“In case of major repairs, engineers will be sent to schools and if they are not successful, the devices will be taken back to the local assemblies and then back to the schools.”
He at the same time revealed that pupils in private primary schools will be able to benefit from the devices at cheap rates.
“While the government is handling all the cost aspects in public schools, private schools will have to acquire the tablets on their own but at subsidised prices locally,” he stated.
“They will also get the content from KICD (Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development) or online. Some are actually already using the content”.
He said Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Moi University, which are separately assembling the devices locally, are already in talks with schools on how they can directly source the tablets from the assemblies.
He said the gadgets will not be available for retail in shops. The Digital Literacy Program seeks to enhance learning in schools through the use of digital technologies.
The laptop project is one of the Jubilee Government’s flagship initiatives promised during the 2013 General elections.