The supply, installation and commissioning of digital learning devices in all public primary schools in Kenya will be completed in March 2017, as scheduled, Principal Secretary for ICT and innovation, Eng. Victor Kyalo has said.
Eng. Kyalo who spoke at JKUAT Tuesday January 24, during a progress meeting on the project, added that the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) will see a total of 1.2 million tablets issued to children in lower primary schools, comprising class 1 to 3 respectively.
According to the PS, the government has already secured 700, 000 tablets with another 200, 000 slated to be assembled at JKUAT and Moi Universities.
Besides introducing learners to technology in their formative years, the PS explained that the initiative will stir transformation of rural economies in a number of sectors including energy, water, and environment. The project according to the principal secretary was at the core of the government’s acceleration of rural electrification to supply power to the county’s primary schools, a fact that he also acknowledged, had brought enormous economic benefits to rural populations.
Eng. Kyalo commended JKUAT which is leading one of the consortia mandated to deliver the project.
“JKUAT has emerged as a center of excellence in technology transfer as it moves into devices assembling locally,” said the PS.
Eng. Kyalo also informed the meeting that the government will construct computer labs in upper primary classes as a continuation of the laptop project.
Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu who was with Eng. Kyalo at JKUAT on a benchmarking mission said Kenya had made a number of strides in the field of ICT which his country could learn from.
He singled out the DLP project and M-Pesa as some of the groundbreaking initiatives which have given Kenya greater visibility in Africa. Saying that Kenya had fortified progressive policy instruments and frameworks on matters ICT, Adebayo called for cooperation between the two countries for mutual benefits.
Principal Secretary for Investment and Industry, Mr. Julius Korir who also spoke at the same forum said the laptop project is not a campaign gimmick. The idea, he explained highlighted government’s resolve to foster local capacity for manufacturing for job creation and livelihoods transformation.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said the Assembly Line at JKUAT has capacity to produce 1,200 tablets per day.
She added that the JKUAT-POSITIVO BGH Consortium has successfully installed the devices in 518 schools spread across 21 counties and trained over 4, 000 primary school teachers on DLP.
ICT Authority CEO, Robert Mugo commended the partners involved in the DLP project for the progress consolidated so far. He added that the initiative will enable Kenya’s children to compete on the same level irrespective of geographical positioning or socio-economic backgrounds.