Kenya is making strides toward achievement of the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have seen this through embracing technology in all sectors of the economy. One sector that has made a major milestone toward achieving this is the education sector. Currently, there are several ways in which technology is affecting the direction of education.
We have seen different innovations that seek to cover gaps existing in our education system. All of these innovations, like Eneza Education, came out of a desire to bridge a gap in the system. SDG number 4 (1) states that by 2030 governments commit to ensuring that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
When the Jubilee Government came into power in 2013, they promised to deliver laptops to standard one pupils in a bid to streamline the education sector with the ICT pillar of their manifesto. The Kenyan Government has been true to this pledge, albeit a year to the end of their second term. They are to deliver over 12 000 Free Digital learning devices to 150 public primary schools, as the pilot for the Digital Literacy Program kicks off.
The distribution began on 4th May, 2016 with an initial delivery to four (4) primary schools and is earmarked to end on 14th May, 2016.
Dr. Fred Matiangi, CS Ministry of Education spoke at Musa Gitau primary school during distribution. “The Uhuru Kenyatta digital revolution that began, focusing more on accessibility of the content from any device”, he said.
The devices distributed under this program include: Luminous green tablets for the pupils, Sky blue laptops for the teachers, Sky blue laptops for Special Learners to Special schools, Braille Embossers also for Special schools, Projectors, Digital Content servers and wireless routers.
These will be used for teaching and learning by pupils in primary schools across the country. The 150 schools earmarked under Proof of Concept (POC) phase, has two bidders; (Moi University and JP Couto and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Positivo BGH). The bidders will demonstrate their capability to distribute and install the devices to all public primary schools in the country come July, 2016. The successes and challenges during this pilot (POC) phase will inform the full roll-out of the Digital Literacy Program, which has been branded Digischool.
The devices are pre-loaded with content which includes interactive digital content for Standard 1 and 2. This content is from five subjects which are Kiswahili, English, Maths, Science and Social studies. The teachers’ laptops, server and wireless router in addition are pre-loaded with the teacher training curricula on ICT integration, Teachers training manual on ICT and a resource kit for teachers.
Dr. Matiangi said this is a collaborative effort by different government bodies to ensure smooth installation and security for the project.