Juja Member of Parliament Hon. Francis Munyua Waititu visited Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to familiarize himself with the operations of the computer assembly facility of the institution.
Hon. Waititu said he plans to mobilize Members of Parliament to visit the University before Parliament deliberates on the provision of laptops to standard one pupils next year as promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The initiative to assemble the laptops locally will not only provide employment to Kenyans but also build human capacity in Information Communication Technology in readiness for future projects.
During the visit, Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga reiterated the University’s commitment to spearhead the computer assembly project dubbed the Madaraka Computer Initiative, as part of Vision 2030 flagship project funded by the Ministry of Information and Communications which is aimed at capacity building in ICT sector as well as assembling affordable computers that would be available to the public.
Currently, JKUAT is in partnership with Nottingham University to manage e-waste which is anticipated to go up as a result of the introduction of more computers into the country. The Vice Chancellor further revealed that special warehouses will be constructed at the Nairobi Industrial Park for proper storage of the laptops. The Park, an initiative of JKUAT, is a flagship project under Vision 2030.
JKUAT is partnering with Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to provide national digital curriculum and content for all school levels and Kenya Literature Bureau for e-books contents.
In addition, the University has partnered with Kenya Literature Bureau to provide e-books to be preloaded onto the laptop, she said.
JKUAT will also equip teachers with the skills required to effectively use the new technology, by offering short certificate courses to be staggered to fit the teachers’ busy teaching schedules.