Phase two of Digital Literacy Program (DLP) which estimated to cost Sh 60 billion is set to start this month after the near completion of the Sh30 billion phase one.
Government Spokesperson, Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said phase two is targeting learners in grades 4, 5 and 6 to equip them with skills on how to use technology.
“The innovative powers of the learner will be nurtured at this stage, including programing in robotic technology,” noted Col Oguna during press brief at Kiritiri Embu County.
According to the Spokesperson, in this phase, stage one and two will cater for 5, 000 and 7, 000 schools respectively while stage three targets 7, 000 school and stage four 5, 000 schools with all stages designed to allow for the improvement of infrastructure in these schools.
Col.(Rtd) Oguna noted that 24, 000 schools are targeted over this four year period with each school receiving 50 laptops with digital content aligned to the new Competency Based Curriculum.
On infrastructure, Col.(Rtd) Oguna noted, “The Ministry of Education is to inject Sh1.5 billion to upgrade infrastructure in schools this financial year.”
He added that once phase two is completed, the learners would proceed to phase three which targets learners in secondary schools with an aim of enabling them to be proficient in programming and to generate products suitable for the market.
“Already, we have put 800 schools in pilot project for the third phase where the Communication Authority of Kenya is offering internet services,” added Col. Oguna.
On the benefit of the digital literacy program, the spokesperson noted that apart from reducing absenteeism in schools, enrolment has gone high while content absorption by pupils has increased.
He also noted that the devices were being used to register for exams adding that countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi have been in the country for bench marking on DLP.
On challenges facing DLP, Col.(Rtd) Oguna noted that not all teachers were appreciative of the use of technology hence there being a technological gap among the teachers.
“Low numbers of trained teachers on DLP is another challenge facing the programme; however, TSC has planned for a continuous teachers’ in-service training to equip them with the desired skills,” he observed.
According to the spokesperson, phase one targeting pupils in grades one to three which is has been concluded at a cost of Sh.30 billion where 19, 667 schools out of 21, 729 have been supplied with 1.2 million devices while the remaining over 2, 000 schools without devices would have them supplied by next month.
200,000 teachers have been trained on DLP which is three teachers per school while over 46, 000 laptops for teachers have been supplied to schools.
On electricity connectivity, he said 22, 980 schools have been connected while Ministry of Energy is working with Kenya Power to ensure 310 unconnected schools were connected too.