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Murang’a teachers retrained on digital learning 

Primary school teachers in Murang’a County are undergoing a retraining programme on how to operate digital learning devices supplied for use by class one and two pupils.

The training has been necessitated by the realisation that about 80 percent of digital devices distributed to schools at the beginning of this term had not been put to use due to incompetency by the relevant teachers.

Out of 522 public primary schools in the county, 206 of them have been issued with digital learning devices, which include a tablet for each class one pupil. The tablets are programed with classes one and two learning content.

The County Information Communication Technology (ICT) officer, Edwin Nyakondika, told KNA that the teething problems in implementation of Digital Learning Programme are being addressed to ensure that schools maximise use of the devices.

Successful implementation of the Digital Learning Programme (DLP) is a significant milestone for the Jubilee government since it is anchored in its manifesto. Its objective is to enhance learning in Kenyan education system through use of digital technologies

In the ongoing training that targets all class one and two teachers in Murang’a County, teachers are being taken through basic computer skills and how to charge and handle the digital learning devices. So far, 106 teachers from 53 schools have been retrained. Initial training for all class one teachers in all public schools had been carried out before the roll out of the programme.

They are also learning on how to access the learning content using the content access point which is a device fed with all the relevant content from which the learners’ tablets can remotely access.

When he went for an inspection on programme implementation in various schools, the ICT officer said that he found some of the schools had taken their devices to the chief’s camps for safe custody hence had never used them. Head teachers cited poor security in their schools and feared that the devices might be stolen.

The officer added that in his own assessment he could tell that some teachers were reluctant to abandon the traditional teaching methods for digital learning. Others were also technophobic and would do anything to avoid digital migration.

He was however optimistic that after the retraining exercise all the teachers will fully adopt digital learning. He however applauded the schools that have had smooth implementation of the programme. He urged all other schools to be receptive of the changes in order to realise the immense benefits of digital learning.

Digital learning programme involves issuing all public primary schools with leaning devices, which include two laptop computers for use by the teachers, a content access point, tablets equal to the number of class one pupils enrolled in a particular school and a projector.

It is being run through a collaboration of government organs with the Ministry of ICT being the main coordinator. Others are the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise development, The National Treasury, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and the Attorney General.

By Judith Thuo

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