Provision of tablets pushed to March
DAILY NATION By OUMA WANZALA
Friday December 23, 2016
The provision of tablets to Standard One pupils which was supposed to be concluded this month has now been pushed to March.
Out of the targeted 1.2 million pupils, the government has only provided about 200,000 pupils with the devices.
The Jubilee government’s flagship project of providing tablets to public primary schools, has been elusive since 2013 and President Kenyatta had promised that it would be concluded by the end of this year.
ICT Authority acting chief executive Robert Mugo said the delays in production from China had led to the spillover effect.
“We thought we would have served the schools by December. We have since revised delivery schedules to public schools to March 2017,” Mr Mugo told the Nation.
There are also concerns about class one pupils who will join next year and if they will move with the tablets.
However, Mr Mugo assured that the tablets are for use for class one to three pupils across the country and there will not be a problem if children move to class two.
Despite winning the Sh17 billion tender early this year to assemble the gadgets, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKuat) and Moi University have been unable to start assembling the devices.
Mr Mugo disclosed that JKuat will start assembling in January, while Moi will commence in March.
“Moi University is slotted to assemble 166,000 devices, while JKuat will assemble 100,000,” said the acting CEO.
He said the importation will end in January with Moi University expected to import 720,684 while JKuat will bring in 329,000 devices, totalling to 1,049,684 tablets.
Previously, the government had planned to import 600,000 tablets from China while the rest were to be assembled locally.
In October, the government started the distribution of the devices in more than 60 primary schools across the country and was targeting to reach 23,000 public primary schools at the end of the year.
With the importation, the government has projected that the cost will go up to Sh28 billion.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, the role of ICT in providing education is critical, as it provides opportunities to improve access of all learners who deserve an education without any restrictions.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Director, Dr Julius Jwan, said all subjects had been digitised from class one to two and they were working on class three.