TAITA TAVETA, Kenya, Oct 26 – There was joy and jubilation in Mwandisha Primary School in Mwatate Sub County, Taita Taveta County, when Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu delivered 121 tablets to the school’s class one population as part of the ongoing Digital Literacy Programme.
The school, which has a class one population of 115 pupils, was established in 1957 and becomes the 22nd school in the County to receive the digital gadgets.
The County has so far received 996 tablets and has a total of 199 public primary schools.
The government plans to distribute one million tablets to class one pupils in 23,000 public primary schools before the end of the year, in order to prepare them for the digital era.
Speaking during the launch on Tuesday, Dr Mailu said that the programme would not only transform learning in Kenya but also go a long way in facilitating the delivery of Vision 2030.
He observed that the programme would increase access to electricity thereby boosting the economies of communities that live close to public schools. This will be done through the Last Mile Connectivity Project which is expected to install electricity and light up the country’s rural areas.
“Our presence here is a sign that the government is committed to preparing our children for the 21st Century and we must ensure that we use these devices so that our country can take its place in the digital world. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we fulfil our children’s dreams,” said the CS.
He at the same time announced that the government had set aside special tablets for children with special needs so as to cover all class one pupils. Dr Mailu further revealed that the government had trained and equipped 60,000 teachers with ICT skills so as to ensure the successful implementation of the Digital Literacy Programme.
Madam Audrey Mwandonyi, a teacher at Mwandisha primary school, said that the digital devices would make learning interactive for the children and also make it easier for tutors to explain various concepts.
She lauded the government for delivering its promise saying that it was a dream come true for the class one pupils.
“You can imagine teaching parts of a plant to the pupils during the dry season and you have to explain what a flower is. It becomes very difficult to teach and you have to look for coloured chalk so as to draw and colour the flower. These devices make it easy for the children and they are able to retain that memory,” she noted.
County Director of Education Bridget Wambua urged school heads to take good care of the devices in order to ensure that they served the next class one pupils. Deputy County Commissioner Shufa Mwahima promised to provide sufficient security for all the primary schools so as to keep the tablets safe. Also present was the County CEC for Health Dr Gifting Mkaya, CEC for Education Jemimah Tuja and other County leaders.
The Digital Literacy Programme is being coordinated by the Ministries of Education, Information Communication and Technology, Energy and Industrialisation. The Teachers Service Commission, Kenya National Union of Teachers and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers have also been involved in the rolling out of the programme.
All Cabinet and Principal Secretaries are expected to spearhead this process and launch it in various public primary schools across the country.