ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru announced plans to have students take at least four subjects online. He was speaking after he appeared before the senate ICT committee to answer questions about the digital literacy programme in the country.
Mucheru said there were plans to pilot the project during the Covid-19 pandemic period and adopt it later although he did not give details of the subjects or time period.
Mucheru also revealed plans by the government to provide children with customized devices to be used in digital learning. The project was initially rolled out in March 2016 but had failed to take off following opposition from education stakeholders who expressed their preference for computer labs instead of the one device per learner.
Mucheru however said the project was on-going and the government had already selected 1,000 schools for the pilot project. The ICT ministry has also been allocated Sh 15 billion to fund the project which will see the public primary schools get internet connection to facilitate e-learning.
The funds will be used to connect the schools to electricity, build ICT laboratories, lay down infrastructure such as fibre optic and for the purchase of tablets for the children. Teachers will also be trained under the Digital Learning Project.
Mucheru said that the devices will be developed in partnership with local universities.
The pilot phase of Jubilee’s plan to provide tablets to school going children will see 24,000 primary schools connected to the internet.
The ambitious project by the administration aims to ensure that children who attend public schools start learning how to use a computer and the internet from an early age. Private school going children seem better versed on using computers and the internet compared to the others.
Challenges that rocked the pilot project previously include lack of electricity, lack of digital literacy skills by the teachers and poor conditions of the public schools. To this, Mucheru said, the government had turned to solar power to provide electricity in the rural areas.