ICT Cabinet nominee promises to revive failed school laptops project – Business Daily
ICT Cabinet Secretary nominee Eliud Owalo in Parliament on October 21, 2022. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG
The government will revive the collapsed Jubilee administration’s school laptop project alongside a massive digital literacy programme rollout.
Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary nominee Eliud Owalo, who appeared before the National Assembly’s Committee on Appointment on Friday, was responding to a question on how the President William Ruto-led government would actualise its pledge to lower data and calls.
“This is something that I believe is doable and in any case, we will do it through the Konza technopolis. There is already a rollout of the distribution of these laptops. But it’s not just an issue of distribution, it must be in tandem with simultaneous undertaking of a massive e-literacy programme at all levels so that the demand in the market is responded to,” said Mr Owalo.
During the first term of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, the Sh24.6 billion project was touted as the ultimate link in the digital skills gap in Kenyan schools. At the programme’s inception in 2016, the Uhuru-led regime boasted of supplying 95 percent of learners in Class 1 with tablets, but headteachers revealed that years later, the devices remained gathering dust and unused in storage rooms.
Read: Laptops lie idle in schools on lack of skilled tutors
Government reports indicate that the ambitious project crashed majorly because teachers and learners were ill-prepared for the rollout.
In 2019, the government shifted focus from laptop distribution, instead opting to build computer laboratories for 25,000 public primary schools across the country.