April 30th 2017

Society / Education

School laptop programme beset by electricity challenges

In Baringo County, there are roughly 650 schools and up to date only six schools have received the proposed laptop for the e-learning program that is supposed to commence in all primary schools.

By Soilan Kenanaskenana@kenyafreepress.comTuesday, 15 Nov 2016 15:54 EAT

Up to one quarter of primary schools in the country will miss out on the digital learning programme, which entails the provisions of laptops for Standard One pupils, because they don’t have electric power connection. Included among these are 150 primary schools in Baringo County.

The ICT Authority program official Paul Rono said: “Although Jubilee government has tried very much to roll out rural electrification to cover all parts of the nation, most areas are yet to be connected to the national electricity grid. This is frustrating the laptop program.”

Speaking at Kapkokwon Primary School in Baringo Central sub-county during the launch of Digital Literacy Program on Saturday, Mr Rono highlighted the challenges facing the project and appealed to the county and national government to address them. The problems include poor school structures and high dropout cases which was caused by the ongoing famine issues and also insecurity around the region. He also called for improvement of infrastructure in Baringo.

Some of the local and national government representatives present during the launch included Baringo governor Benjamin Cheboi, Diector e-Government John Sergon and Kenya Literature Bureau managing director Victor Lomaria. Mr Cheboi applauded the government for the introduction of the digital programme, stating that teachers have embarked on a journey to advance their computer skills to be able to make an impact on the e-learning system.

“Already we are having up to 150 teachers undergoing training at Kabarnet ICT Center hoping to soon have all computer skills so that they could carry on well with the e-learning,” said Governor Cheboi.

As a first step towards realizing its 2013 pledge to roll out digital learning, the Jubilee government has for the last two months been distributing electronic tablets for pupils, laptops for teachers, and braille embosser, projector, digital content server and wireless router, on a pilot basis.

Approximately 23,000 primary schools across the country will benefit from the programme but those which are disadvantaged, in particular schools based in marginalized areas, will have to look for ways of accessing electricity or will not be part of the schools that are moving to the digital era.

In Baringo County, there are roughly 650 schools and up to date only six schools have received the proposed laptop for the e-learning program that is supposed to commence in all primary schools.

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