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The Digital Literacy Programme would spur Kenya’s economic growth 

Public Service Youth and Gender  Affairs  Cabinet  Secretary, Sicily Kariuki  joins class  one pupils  of Kiarithaini  DEB Primary  School  in Mathira Constituency, Nyeri County  when she launched Digital Literacy  Programe  on Friday  October 21, 2016. Photo by Eric Bosire/KNA.




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.

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director, Nancy Macharia (in green) during the launch of digital learning program at St Kizito Primary school, Mbeere North Sub County today. She was accompanied by official from ICT authority led by Director of Programs and Standards Paul Rono and education officials from the County. She said the Education Ministry has employed about 79,000 tutors to help train school going children. Photo by Charles  Muoki/KNA.

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director, Nancy Macharia (in green) during the launch of digital learning program at St Kizito Primary school, Mbeere North Sub County today. She was accompanied by official from ICT authority led by Director of Programs and Standards Paul Rono and education officials from the County. She said the Education Ministry has employed about 79,000 tutors to help train school going children. Photo by Charles Muoki/KNA.

“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

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