Government Committed to Improving Infrastructure in Schools
The Principal Secretary in Charge of Basic Education Belio Kipsang has reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure all public schools have good infrastructure and a conducive learning environment for the learners.
PS Kipsang who was speaking at Mogoiyuet Primary School in Narok West Constituency Saturday during the launch of a Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) in Narok West Sub County said the government has allocated Sh. 78 million for the expansion of infrastructure in Narok County schools in the2017/2018 financial year.
“We are committed to ensure the pupils do not only enjoy using the tablets but also learn in a conducive environment,” the PS said.
Kipsang said the tablets were being distributed equally among all the 616 schools in Narok County adding that no public school would be discriminated despite the school’s infrastructure.
“ The Jubilee administration has fulfilled its promise to wananchi. The programme targets all learners in all public primary schools,” he said.
Kipsang added the government had set aside Sh. 4 billion for national examination in both private and public schools in a bid to ensure no student was locked out from doing national examination.
Principal Secretary in the state department of Enterprise Development and Industrialization Mr. Julius Korir, who accompanied Kipsang urged the residents to support the Jubilee government as it had fulfilled its promise to wananchi.
“The project has come along way to ensure electricity in all primary school and good infrastructure,” he observed.
Mogoiyuet Primary School class one teacher Ms. Rose Ruto acknowledged that the tablets had improved the concentration of pupils in class as all her learners are excited to learn unlike before when she would use different tactics to attract attention.
“Teaching has become too enjoyable as all my pupils are keen and eager to learn. Mathematics has now becoming a favorable subject to the learners as they are excited counting objects practically,” she said.
Ms. Ruto who has been teaching class one since 2005 said the absenteeism rate has gone down since the introduction of the tablets as no learner wants to miss school.
“Before I would have a maximum of 30 out of 47 pupils per day attend school, currently, hardly will a pupil miss from school,” she said.
Others who attended the function included Senior Advisor Food Security to Deputy President Augustine Cheruiyot and Director of Information, Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA) Director Paul Rono.
Thousands of children are said to be dropping out of school in the country each year.
This is despite the government having provided free primary education in all its public primary schools and went ahead to subsidize the secondary education.
Statistics by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) show although 1.3 million children joined primary schools at the start of free primary education (FPE) by the NARC administration in 2003, only 875,300 made it to Standard Eight.
The report shows that out of 679,000 boys who enrolled in Standard One in public schools in 2003, the number later dropped to 453,300, while the number of girls dropped from 632,700 to 422,000 over the same period.
Thus, the number of boys who sat in the inaugural FPE Standard Eight class dropped to 247,500 from 453,300, while only 214,100 completed secondary education compared with 422,000 who enrolled.
The reasons for this dropout have been attributed to various socio-economic factors such as poverty, early marriages and pregnancies among others.
To this end, the government has launched free tablets to primary school pupils in its efforts to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the school curriculum.
This is expected to go a long way in improving not only digital literacy in the country, but also encourage more pupils to enroll in school by making this learning interactive and interesting.
DLP is Kenya’s national ICT program that aims to improve learning and build 21st century skills among primary school students through the use of digital technologies in education.
Successful implementation of the Digital Literacy Programme will depend upon the capacity of primary school teachers and education managers to fully harness the power of technology to enhance student learning.
It’s a welcome move that should be embraced by all stakeholders as some stakeholders have been heard to oppose it terming it an expensive venture to the taxpayer.
By Ann Salaton