Digital Literacy Programme team begins visits to pilot 150 schools

The Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) team today began the Proof of Concept and School e-Readiness Validation with a visit to Roysambu Primary School in Nairobi.

This marked the commencement of the Proof of Concept (PoC) for the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) – commonly referred to as School Laptops project but now renamed ‘Digischool’ – and will involve the validation of 150 schools selected for the pilot of the project in terms of e-readiness.

“This stage will involve a visit to each school by a few members of the technical committee, who will verify that the schools have power, teachers are trained, the classroom and school is secure, desks are adequate for the devices, storage cabinet exists as well as ascertain standard one enrolment figures per school. The team will also use the opportunity to engage with the school community as well as understand any other parameters that might impact on the success of the programme,” said Robert Mugo, Ag. CEO, ICT Authority, and chair, Digital Literacy Programme Technical Committee.

The visit to the schools is meant to ensure that they match the technology that will be deployed. The exercise will be completed in 2 weeks.

The pilot 150 schools represent urban, peri- urban, rural and special schools. All the 22,000 schools in 47 counties were requested at the end of last year to fill in an online questionnaire on their readiness. A total of 18,000 schools responded. It was then that the final schools selections were certified to be e-ready by school head teachers in collaboration with County Education Officers.

“As you may be aware the Proof of Concept is 12 weeks long and there are several stages that are crucial before the contractors deliver the devices. Consequently, apart from school readiness validation, we will be conducting teacher training and preparations, testing the solutions, imaging the content for the devices, engaging key stakeholders and connecting internet to schools,” said Mugo.

“We expect after this the contractors will be ready to deliver the devices in PoC select schools by the end of March, 2016. The full roll-out of the programme will commence in June 2016 after the contractor’s evaluation in May. The programme is expected to deliver 600,000 devices to 11,000 schools this June, and another equal amount in June 2017.”

The Government of Kenya is implementing the Digital Literacy Program (DLP) in all the 22,000 public primary schools in Kenya. The focus of the program is to enhance learning through the use of digital technologies. Emphasis is on online content and not devices.

The project will deliver 1.2 million devices in the next two years to cover all public primary schools. The pilot phase of 150 schools commences in February, 2016.

The two successful bidders implementing the PoC are the consortium of Moi University and JP Couto, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Positivo BGH. Moi University will cover 26 counties, while Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology will cover 21 counties.

The Proof of Concept testing will be based on ability to deliver on schedule, adherence of specifications of devices, installation and testing of both the content and the devices as well as usability, functionality and support to schools to ensure that everything works optimally.

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