The ICT Authority is this month spearheading the launch of the Schoolnet project in 13 pilot schools which will target 9,600 students and 200 teachers across the country. This is an initiative by the Authority, together with partners, that is seeking to connect schools countrywide to high-speed broadband internet to enable students access online learning for an hour in a week.
The ICT Authority is coordinating the planned schools visit by top government officials to (a)Assess Head teachers’ preparedness (b)Assess utilization of the Digital Literacy Programme Devices supplied by the Government (c) Establish teachers’ competency on ICT Integration in education and (d)Verify availability of reliable power.
This will culminate in the official launch by the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, Hon Joe Mucheru.
The Cabinet Secretary has been on the forefront of ensuring that ICT enables the Big Four Agenda and is keen to see the country transition into a digital economy.
This is part of the government of Kenya efforts for sustainable solutions for school connectivity and so implement the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) in a manner that can be implemented.
Already, three counties have had their activities taking off and the PS,State Department for ICT & Innovation ,Jerome Ochieng is expected to launch the programe in Kakamega County.
In Nyamira County, the Chief Administrative Secretary ,Hon Maureen Mbaka, launched the schoolnet programme at Sironga High School and Sironga Primary School.
“The entire world is going digital and we cannot afford to remain behind as Kenyans because it will unfortunately be to our detriment. The reason why government has purposed to heavily invest in technological infrastructure and connectivity, is to be able to expose young learners to the realities of technology in their day to day lives. This is a training which will be relevant in making them digitally compliant learners and enable them comfortably fit in the digital economy once they are done with their studies,” CAS said.
In Bungoma county Friends School Kamusinga, the Principal Secretary,State Department for University education & Research, Simon Nabukwesi led a team of government officials to launch the programme in Bungoma county.
“The school has been paying Sh15, 000 for internet which at some point failed to serve the school as required, now the school has obtained high speed internet that will serve the school well,” Nabukwesi said.
The PS added that the Education ministry being the key stakeholder is committed to ensuring learning institutions are supplied with high speed internet to make learning easier.
In Mandera county the launch was led by the Idris Aden Ibrahim, Senior Executive Officer at KNUT Headquarters in two schools namely Haji Yussuf Girls Secondary School and Takaba primary school.He was assisted by Edward Mogusu the Assistant County Commissioner Takaba and Mohamed Tullo Ali the TSC Subcounty Director at Takaba.
The ICT Authority is implementing critical ICT Programmes for the country such as the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) which was borne out of the governments’ vision to make sure every pupil is prepared for today’s digital world and transforming Kenya into a 21st Century knowledge economy.
The implementation of the Digital Literacy Programme has substantially been completed with Phase I covering 22,891 public primary schools and 1,168,905 devices delivered to schools and installed with digital content for grade 1 and 2.
The National Optic Fibre Backbone (NOFBI) is a project aimed at ensuring connectivity in all the 47 counties of Kenya. The implementation of this project aims to ease communication across counties as well as improve government service delivery to the citizens. Connectivity through NOFBI has seen improved service delivery at the hospitals, police stations, and the criminal justice system agencies. There has also been increased access of information by citizens and reduced expenditure on online services such as e-citizen.