Digital Programme to schools lauded

The Narok County Director of Education (CDE), James Nyaga has urged teachers in Narok and the rest of the country to embrace digital literacy.

Nyaga lamented that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) was still untapped in learning institutions and urged teachers to venture into it as a vehicle of attainment of the Vision 2030.

He said the proposed new school curriculum taking effect next year recognized the need for ICT skills, adding that the programme would go a long way in re-tooling students with skills to handle this new education programme.

The director was speaking on Monday during the launch a training programme for teachers enrolled in the programme dubbed, African Digital Schools Initiative (ADSI).

Nyaga applauded the programme, saying it is in line with the Ministry of Education vision to digitalize schools and curriculum and promised teachers who graduate in the program that they stand a higher chance of being promoted.

He decried the poor performance in Science, Technical, English and Mathematics (STEM ) subjects especially on the part of the girls, saying the programme will go a long way in improving performance and reiterated that the programme was not out to replace teachers but rather to work with them to improve academic performance in the schools.

Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) early this year launched a program that will turn 20 secondary schools in Narok County into digital schools through the integration of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in the teaching and other school programmes.

The Programme Manager, Esther Wachira said the program has been be rolled out in 80 secondary schools in Kenya who have befitted from over 60 learning computers and equipment and will run for the next three years.

Twenty schools have been selected from each of the four chosen counties of Narok, Kiambu, Nyamira and Taita Taveta where the programme is being implemented.

Wachira said to accelerate technology integration in the schools in the selected counties Narok, Taita Taveta, Kiambu and Nyamira Counties, GESCI will give two more laptops to the schools so that teachers will have ease in lesson planning.

She said a total of 200 teachers and over 15,000 students are expected to benefit from the programme in the four counties.

The programme focuses on the STEM (Science, Technical, English and Mathematics) subjects in a bid to make them more interesting, learner friendly and learner �focused so as to spur interests and improve the performance in the subjects.

The programme which is funded by Master card Foundations also aims at equipping the schools management with ICT skills crucial in decision-making.

The ADSI is part of the broader Gesci programme launched by the United Nations in 2002 and has two other components namely; African Leadership Exchange in ICT aimed at equipping African leaders with ICT skills and African Knowledge Exchange (AKE) which aims at engaging African youths in ICT.

The teachers who were awarded certificates had completed the first component of African Leadership Exchange in ICT which aimed at equipping them with requisite skills and will now embark on the second component of knowledge creation and exchange.

Mary Hooker, a Senior Education Specialist said teachers should embrace technology as it is only way through which technology integration into learning will be successful.

Last year, the government also launched free laptops to all lower primary school pupils last year in its efforts to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the school curriculum.

The aim of the project is to help children learn with ease and fun and be able to acquire literacy skills to compete globally.

To this end, ICT officers have been deployed to the 47 counties to help in ensuring all public schools have the devices and in good condition, while over 86,000 teachers already trained to roll out the programme.

Source: Kenya News Agency