The Digital Literacy Programme would spur Kenya’s economic growth
The Digital Literacy Programme (DLP), a Kenya Vision 2030 project, would make Kenya’s labour force internationally competitive.
The Vision is aimed at actualizing Kenya’s industrialization efforts , and thus spur the country’s economic growth.
“The Vision 2030 requires us to promote a knowledge based economy, and that is why the programme is important”, said Social Security and Services Principal Secretary, Susan Mochache.
Ms. Mochache was addressing parents, teachers and pupils of Idsowe Primay School in Tana Delta Sub-County, Tana River County, where she launched the DLP project.
She said pupils in special schools would also benefit from the programme through the supply of the digital tablets customized for their use.
Dr. Dinah Mwinzi, the Principal Secretary for the State Department of Vocational and Technical Training said through the DLP project, it would be fun for pupils to go to school
since the the government has adopted a collaborative approach which would ensure the children listen, see and learn in a very fast manner which was both creative and innovative.
Dr. Mwinzi praised the DLP project, saying the simple digital tablet carried almost 350 books which was open to upgrading, adding that the devices being issued at the moment carried content meant for pupils in standard one to three.
Apart from creating employment, opportunities arising from ICT support centres across the country, the Principal Secretary observed, the DLP will enhance ICT skills among the teachers and communities.
“The digital education content will provide business opportunities for the private sector such as publishers while the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development would manage content regulation,” she said. Another happy end result for the programme, Dr. Mwinzi said, is the strengthening of the local capacity for the production of the locally assembled digital tablets.
The Principal Secretary added; “Other than boosting Kenya’s efforts to become an ICT hub and global leader in the communications technologies, the DLP project would create space for e-waste management centres across the country.”
The government has provided eight schools with the electronic gadgets in Kirinyaga County, thUs benefiting 615 pupils so far. Education Principal Secretary, Dr. Richard Belio Kipsang said all the remaining schools in the county will receive the gadgets by the end of December this year.
“Already over 700 teachers have been trained in Kirinyaga alone to make sure the programme succeeds”, Dr. Kipsang said.
Speaking at Kibirigwi Primary School in Kirinyaga County when he launched the digital learning devices, the Principal Secretary said the security personnel have been enlisted in securing the school learning facilities.
At the same time, Dr. Kipsang announced that the government has created a Directorate of Special Education in his Ministry for the first time in history whose role will be to take care of the children with special needs.
He said the person to be appointed to head the Directorate will announced soon since children with special needs require to be handled professionally by officers with the right kind of skills.
Speaking during the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Narok County, area County Commissioner, Moffat Kangi asked parents to work with the teachers to ensure the security of the digital tablets.
“The community should protect the tablets by ensuring any suspicious person is reported to the relevant arms of the government, while any person found with the tablet at home will be considered a thief ”, he said. He further urged school heads to ensure the security and good management of institutions they head.
Despite a few teething problems, the Shs. 17 billion DLP Project has taken shape countrywide, the new teaching concept is friendly and also interesting to the children, majority of whom have never seen a tablet owing to their poor backgrounds.
As the Jubilee Government marks its fourth year in power, perhaps among its many achievements President Uhuru Kenyatta can look back and smile about is the DLP for public primary schools.
And not just because it was among flagship projects that swept the jubilee administration to power, but perhaps due to the fact that it could be touching hundreds of young lives tucked away in far flung rural areas.
By Joseph Kipkoech