Jubilee gives up on laptop pledge, to focus on computer labs
The Ministry of Education has now suspended issuance of tablets to class one pupils under the digital literacy programme, opting instead to build computer laboratories.
Principal Secretary Bellio Kipsang has said that each of the 25,000 public primary schools will get one computer laboratory.
“There has been a policy change in programme from one-child — one laptop to the construction of computer laboratories for ICT integration,” Dr Kipsang told National Assembly’s Education Committee while presenting their budgetary proposals.
However, MPs questioned why the government was shifting to construction of the computer laboratories, but Dr Kipsang insisted that construction of the labs was part of phase two of the project.
The one-laptop-per-child idea in Jubilee’s Digital Learning Programme was meant, ostensibly, to entrench ICT in teaching and learning in primary schools.
During roll-out in May 2016, however, the policy shifted from laptops to tablets due to cost implications.
However, various government reports indicate that the project has failed and teachers are not prepared despite its roll-out in 2016.
A Ministry of Education report in December returned a shocking verdict on the multibillion shillings schools laptops project as it found that national implementation stands at a paltry five per cent.
“While supply and installation in schools stands at approximately 95 per cent nationally, implementation ails at five per cent in terms of utilisation of the equipment,” reads the report which was prepared by former Moi University Vice-Chancellor Laban Ayiro.
Meanwhile, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has said 92 per cent of students have so far reported to secondary schools under the 100 per cent transition programme.
However, Ms Mohamed said the ministry is currently compiling data arising from the last mile campaign towards 100 per cent transition to form one to ensure that all learners are supplied with the necessary reading materials.
“The ministry is now working to account for the remaining 80,000 candidates to close this year’s admission process,” said the CS in Nairobi.