SH64 BILLION

State allocates Sh64bn for schools' computer labs project

During its inception in 2016, the government set out a plan to supply 95 per cent of learners in Class 1 with tablets

In Summary

•However, implementation failed with only 5 per cent of schools affecting the use of the acquired gadgets.

•The project was one of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto administration brainchild in the 2013 campaigns.

Standard 1 pupil Nicholas Kyete holds a tablet at Muthue Primary School in Kitui South subounty as a tacher looks on.
CONTROVERSIAL: Standard 1 pupil Nicholas Kyete holds a tablet at Muthue Primary School in Kitui South subounty as a tacher looks on.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

The government has allocated Sh64 billion for phase two of the digital literacy project.

The cash will buy computers that will be used in the programme that, in 2019, was converted from tablets to schoolchildren to the construction of computer labs in each school.

During its inception in 2016, the government set out a plan to supply 95 per cent of learners in Class 1 with tablets.

However, the implementation failed with only 5 per cent of schools effecting the use of the acquired gadgets.

To support, phase two of the project, the ICT Authority will this week host 65 officers drawn from 15 government agencies and partners to develop the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) Master Plan to guide its implementation.

ICT Authority CEO Katherine Getao said the Digital Literacy Programme is on course and so far over 1.2 million tablets have been installed in 21,638 public primary schools.

“The first phase of the project has been completed. A total of 331,000 teachers have been trained and content access, continuously, is being provided to public primary schools through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD),” she said.

Getao said that, so far Sh31 billion have been injected into phase one project. 

She said that the DLP was critical in terms of delivering the 21st-century skills to children to get information, learn how to use devices and read in different subject areas.

The project was one of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto administration brainchild in the 2013 campaigns.

The project sought to provide laptops, later swapped to a tablet, to every child joining Grade 1.

However, the number of gadgets distributed over the years can only serve those in Grade 1 and are forced to leave them when they proceed to the next class.

Also stalling the implementation is the lack of electricity in most public primary schools.

Although the government connected nearly all schools to electricity, most have ended up disconnected due to the huge power bills.

In February 2019, the Ministry of Education announced it had abandoned the provision of tablets, and going into the second phase of the DLP, the ministry instead would focus on building computer labs in schools.

Basic Education PS, Belio Kipsang said each of the 25,000 public primary schools will get one computer laboratory.

While presenting budgetary proposals to the National Assembly's Education Committee in February, Kipsang told the committee there has been a policy change in the programme from one child-one laptop to the construction of computer laboratories for ICT integration.

Under the Programme, the ICT Authority is supporting government efforts to integrate ICT into teaching and learning in Kenya.

The programme aims to support the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

The CBC include critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and innovation aimed at preparing learners to competitively participate in a knowledge-based economy.

 

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris