Kenya Government Launches DigiSchool Brand for the Laptop Project

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One of the key promises of the Jubilee government was to issue laptops to Standard one students in Kenya. The  project was however, shrouded by uncertainty culminating in a presidential directive leading to the creation of an inter-ministerial committee chaired by ICT ministry CS to champion the project now referred to as digital literacy programme (DLP). During the annual budget read in June, the Government set aside Kshs. 17.58 billion for deployment of ICT learning devices to schools, development of digital content, building the capacity of teachers and rolling out computer laboratory for class 4 to class 8 in all schools throughout the country which set the project in motion.

The government today unveiled a status report on the project through the Ministry of ICT which is spearheading the project. Key among this was the unveiling of the  Digital Literacy program brand known as Digi School. Digi School carries various components of the project including provision of devices for both the learners and the teachers as well as capacity development for the various players involved, content development as well as establishment of local assembly for digital devices and related accessories.

The DLP  is based on four critical pillars which include the  development of digital content, supply of power to schools,  technology prepared teachers and  accessibility of the content on multiple platforms.  On the development of the content, Kenya  Institute Of Curriculum development has developed digital content for standard 1-3 with conversion onto a universal platform set to take place by September 2015. The ministry of education has also trained over 61,000 teachers as well as 150 master trainers moving to different schools training teachers. Through the Rural Electrification Authority, the project has connected 87% of primary schools with plans to complete connection by December.

The government further asked interested public institutions with the capacity to create local assembly lines to apply for participation into the project.  The companies will receive tax incentives for engaging in the projects. Already Moi, Kenyatta and Jomo Kenyatta Universities have expressed interest and subsequently working on creating assembly lines. University of Nairobi will act as the digital learning hub thus empowering digital research. Strathmore University through iLab Africa will provide technical knowledge on cloud computing for the project. The government plans to launch the project in January 2016 as students begin their first term.

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