Government to gauge schools’ e-readiness before DigiSchool project roll-out

The government is stepping up efforts to ensure all primary schools across the country are ready to start learning using Digital Literacy Programme (DLP or DigiSchools) devices as it embarks on the full rollout of the project.

The project implementation team will throughout this week undertake basic training for head teachers on DLP – which has been branded Digischool – in preparation for the full rollout of the programme.  The team will also collect information on the e-readiness of schools from primary school head teachers with a view of working with schools to speed up the process of getting them ready for the project.

(TOP: Robert Mugo, ICT Authority’s acting CEO – with microphone – after receiving the first batch of DLP devices last week).

The verification of schools’ e-readiness status will be done during the Kenya Primary Head Teachers’ Association’s (KEPSHA’s) Annual Delegates conference that is taking place in Mombasa between August 6 and 12.

This year’s conference is running under the theme Curriculum Reforms for Child Friendly Quality Education. The introduction of ICT in education is among the major reforms that the Government is introducing.

Speaking at the event, Robert Mugo, ICT Authority’s acting CEO said many schools are already in line with the requirements of the project that include power connectivity, storage cabinets with charging units, appropriate desks, trained teachers and secure and dustproof classrooms.

The CEO, who is also the programme’s technical chair, said that while all public primary schools will benefit from the programme, schools need to ready themselves as those who score highly in e-readiness will be installed first.

“We want to deliver to all schools by December, 2016. But we need schools to be ready. We are requesting teachers to benchmark with the proof of concept schools in each county,” he said.

The Proof of Concept (POC) phase was undertaken in May and June, 2016. The POC phase – or pilot – for the project entailed the delivery and installation of devices to 150 schools – three public primary schools from every County and nine special needs schools.

“In these schools, standard one pupils are now comfortably using the Digischool devices to learn. The POC phase has been useful to the different implementing agencies on how they can further enhance the programme implementation,” said Mugo.

He urged the teachers to make use of the August holidays to ensure that their schools are e-ready.

The government this week commenced the full rollout of DLP, which is expected to gather momentum in September when schools reopen for third term. The project will usher in a new way of learning and teaching in schools, starting with standard one pupils. It will play part in transforming the country into a knowledge based economy and in turn grow the ICT as a sector as well as the use of ICT in other sectors of the economy.

The programme is being undertaken through a multi-stakeholder approach, with different players tasked with implementation of different aspects of the programme. The stakeholders are Ministry of ICT, ICT Authority, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Ministry of Industrialisation & Enterprise Development, The National Treasury, The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Office of the Attorney General, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenyan Primary School Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) and Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE).

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