The delivery and installation of tablets and laptops to all primary schools is set to commence in earnest in the course of the month after the gadgets started arriving in the country last week.
The first batch arrived on Friday August 5, 2016 aboard a Kenya Airways flight and received by Principal Secretaries, Eng Victor Kyalo and Sammy Itemere from Ministry of ICT, Belio Kipsang, Ministry of Education and Julius Korir from Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development.
(TOP: PS Education Belio Kipsang – second left -; JKUAT VC Mabel Imbuga; PS ICT and Innovation Victor Kyalo and CEO TSC Nancy Macharia after receiving DLP devices last week).
The national carrier is expected to ship in a total of 20,000 devices in the course of August. Eng Kyalo said more devices are scheduled for arrival in September by sea.
“The delivery today is only the start of many deliverables that will happen in the coming months as we get our children into digital learning. We will be delivering to all 23,801 remaining public primary schools by March 2017,” said Kyalo at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where he inspected the delivery of the devices.
In addition to the devices that will be shipped in this month, more devices will be arriving by sea in September, where 2-5 containers, carrying 7,000 devices per container will arrive each week.
The devices will be installed in selected Phase 1 schools. ICT Authority, the lead agency in the rollout of the project, expects to distribute 600,000 device to 11,000 schools during the first phase. During the second phase, another 600,000 devices will be delivered in the remaining primary schools. This will bring the total number of devices to over 1.2 million and cover all 23,951 primary schools by March, 2017.
The rollout of this phase follows a successful pilot phase, where 12 000 devices were installed in 150 schools countrywide – three schools in every county and nine special education schools.
The pilot – referred to as Proof of Concept – was used to gauge the capacity of contractors to undertake the project. The contractors comprise of two consortia, which are Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)/Positivo BGH and Moi University/JP Courto. Their contracts were signed in early July after successful implementation of the pilot phase.
Kyalo said following the success of the POC phase, the two contractors have been given the greenlight to rollout the project.
“The Proof of Concept (POC) phase undertaken throughout May and June has been very successful. During this phase, we were been able to equip 150 schools with the 12 000 DigiSchool devices and they are now using these devices in learning and teaching,” he said.
Belio Kipsang Principal Secretary Ministry of Education said the ministry together with other stakeholders including the Teachers Service Commission had been undertaking training for teachers to up their capacity in ICT. “We have been undertaking training for teachers and we will continue doing this until we are confident that our teachers can comfortably operate the devices as well as efficiently manage the model classrooms,” he said.
“The training ensures that the teachers are equipped with practical skills on the use of the devices for teaching and learning purposes. It also focuses on model class scenarios with class management software, content developed by KICD and basic support and maintenance procedures.”
Robert Mugo, the acting CEO, ICT Authority, noted that the focus is on provision of quality education to pupils using digital tools.
“In the digital world, content is king. This is a reality today for Kenyan children. We now have the devices in place and should use them to enable Kenya build a knowledge economy,” he said.
The implementation of Phase 1 is expected to run through August and September where 600,000 devices will be installed in 11,000 primary schools. A similar number will installed by March 2017 and will bring the total number of devices to 1.2 million will have been delivered and installed in the 23,951 primary schools.