The Government has started distributing digital devices (laptops) under the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) in a move that will see more than 1.2 million laptops distributed across the country by December 2016.The devices include laptops for teachers, tablets for pupils and braille embossers for special learners, projectors, digital content servers and wireless routers.
The distribution, which is being handled by cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries, will see massive roll-out of the programme aimed at producing a tech-savvy generation. ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr Joe Mucheru is already in West Pokot County distributing the devices.
“To date, over 160,000 devices have been received with more expected weekly,” Mr Mucheru said at a media briefing at the Ministry’s offices, Teleposta Towers, Nairobi, on Thursday.
The ICT CS said the digital devices are fitted with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) approved content, of which the content for Class One and Two are already available. The digital content for Class five to eight can also be accessed and downloaded for free.The cloud allows educational publishers to upload their content to allow students in the DLP through multiple platforms.
The ICT Ministry has also dispatched skilled ICT officers to support teachers and guarantee quality in delivering the programme. The officers include recent ICT graduates, majority of who are alumni or current participants of the Presidential Digital Literacy Programme.
Mr Mucheru said plans are also underway to commence the assembly of devices locally, with consortia of JKUAT/Psotivo BGH and Moi University /JP Courto already setting up assembly plants. JKUAT is set to begin its assembly operation in October 2016. The plant has a capacity of assembling 750,000 devices per year creating 3,000 local jobs.
Education CS Dr Fred Matiang’i said on Thursday the State has trained 72,000 teachers and will train 12,000 more this phase – bringing the total to 84,000 teachers under the DLP programme.
Energy and Petroleum CS Charles Keter said less than 500 primary schools are yet to be connected to the national grid, adding that some schools will be connected to solar and wind power. “Transformers are now in the country and in a few days, we will have finalized the process and connected schools to the grid,” noted Keter. He said the Government will also connect Kenyans who are 600 metres away from the transformer.