Primary schools from across the country are set to start receiving the first batch of Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) devices this week. The devices began arriving in the country last week aboard a Kenya Airways flight.
This rollout follows a pilot phase where 12,000 devices were installed in 250 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) and Moi University.
The Proof of Concept according to ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru was very successful and also the two contractors were given the green light to roll out the project. ‘’The Proof of Concept (POC) phase undertaken throughout May and June has been very successful. During this phase, we have 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.
20,000 other devices are expected to be shipped into the country this August. More devices will also be arriving in the country 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 says it expects to distribute 600,000 devices to 11,000 schools during the first phase and cover all 23,951 schools by March 2017.
The Ministry of Education has also partnered with other stakeholders including the Teachers Service Commission to train teachers on ICT. The training, according to Belio Kipsang, Principal Secretary in the ministry ensures that teachers are equipped with practical skills on the use of the devices for teaching and learning purposes. The training also focuses on model class scenarios with class management software developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and basic and maintenance procedures. ‘’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 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.