Kenya’s government is planning to spend KES15 billion to allow schools to teach four subjects online. This comes after ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru announced plans to pilot a programme that would aid in digital learning.
According to The Star, Mucheru appeared before the Senate ICT Committee to “answer questions about the digital literacy programme and broadband to the school project. He said planning is underway to provide schoolchildren with customised devices to aid in digital learning”.
“The devices will be developed in partnership with local universities.”
Mucheru also said the funds, in partnership with Unicef, would “be used to lay infrastructure such as fibre optic cables, build ICT laboratories, connect electricity, buy tablets for learners and train teachers under the Digital Learning Project”.
The project is reportedly “part the of administration’s plan to ensure children from low-income households who mostly attend public schools learn how to use computers and the internet from an early age” as private school students are more computer-literate.
This comes news comes at a time when Kenyan schools have already been closed for six-months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked why an online project was not implemented sooner, Gadgets Africa reports that “plans were underway but they drew opposition from education stakeholders. They prefer the state to build computer labs instead of providing one tablet per learner.”
The government also blamed ‘poor access to electricity’, ‘teachers with limited computer literacy skills’ and ‘dilapidated classrooms’.