Gaps in the free laptop project that threaten to collapse it

By Irene Mwangi

One of the Jubilee government promises given during the 2013 General Election which has moved a milestone is the laptop for schools promise now called the Digital Literacy Programme.

The jubilee project which aims at building ICT skills as a third life skill alongside literacy and numeracy has however encountered a couple of gaps in its implementation.

Our Irene Mwangi highlighed those issues and now tells us more.

During the launch of his presidential campaign in 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a promise that most political pundits would argue was a political lie .That upon joining the equivalent of Grade One, every child in a public school would be given a laptop

It is almost six years since the laptop for schools promise now called the Digital Literacy Programme was launched and with 30 billion of the taxpayer’s money having been injected in the programme it is ample time to check its effectiveness.

The journey to a new digital era in primary schools takes us to St Elizabeth primary school in mukuru kwa Rueben.

From our assessment, it would denote that indeed students were benefitting from the laptop project.

The ratio of the tablets to the class one students was one is to one when the digital learning programmes started in the school.

However the increasing enrollment of class one pupils seems to leave out some students.

Among the challenges of this project in public primary schools with a large population is that the lecture is only allocated 35 minutes, yet it takes more time to even teach a concept to the class one kids.

Even though the teachers are grateful to the government for the project they still decry that there are gaps that need to be filled.

Even though Private schools have decried their exclusion from the Jubilee government’s laptop project, some have been forced to buy the laptops to be at per with the  major redesign in educational infrastructure.

Kasarani junior primary is one of the schools that has managed to keep up with the trends.

A stark variance of   the digital learning programme is however displayed at a community school in Mukuru kwa Reuben slums.

Gatoto primary school, a school that majorly depends on donor funding   has no laptops or electricity.

For them they are grappling with challenges of lack of textbooks, stationeries and lack of social amenities.

It is feared that the class one children in Gatoto primary will be left behind as compared to their counter parts in public and private schools.

The teachers in Gatoto have decried that teacher training in ICT, curriculum structures and learning materials in the new digital learning programme is what they are not sure of achieving as compared to the public and private schools.

Even so, No donors have come up to sponsor the project in the school which is located in the Mukuru kwa Reuben slums.

As if this is not punishing enough, most of the teachers in the school are not computer literate.




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