Along with the effective implementation of a digital literacy program, Information and Communication Technology Cabinet Secretary Nominee Eliud Owalo last week promised to revitalize the failed Jubilee administration’s school laptop initiative. Addressing the parliamentary committee on appointments Mr Owalo assured Kenyans that his plans are doable.
“This is something that I believe is doable and, in any case, we will do it through the Konza Technopolis. There is already a rollout of the distribution of these laptops. But it’s not just an issue of distribution, it must be in tandem with the simultaneous undertaking of a massive e-literacy programme at all levels so that the demand in the market is responded to,” said Mr Owalo.
The Ksh. 24.6 billion projects was hailed as the key to closing the digital skills gap in Kenyan schools during the first term of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. When the program began in 2016, the Uhuru-led government bragged that it had given tablets to 95% of Class 1 students. However, head teachers have now disclosed that the devices are still sitting in storage rooms, gathering dust. According to a report by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development which was piloting the programme, the unwillingness of teachers to integrate ICT into the learning process and their lack of capacity to use the equipment were largely contributing factors to its failure.