Kenya to borrow Brazilian model for school laptop project

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After two years of waiting, the government has announced that it will now borrow the Brazilian model to establish computer labs in schools instead of its initial plan to buy a laptop computer for each school-going child.

This was announced by the Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi last week.

According to The Star, Prof Kaimenyi said the ministry has studied the Brazilian computer project for schools which it implemented with the support of UNESCO and found that the same model which has been implemented in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria can replicated in Kenya.

In incorporating ICT in education system, Brazil’s Education Ministry established computer lab in all schools and signed a deal with TV Escola, a Brazilian School TV Programme, to explore the media convergence in broadening the interactivity of TV content used in formal and distance education.

Kaimenyi said ministry officials late last year visited Brazil to familiarize themselves with the UNESCO-backed computer lab project for schools and assess how it can be rolled out in the country.

Addressing the press on Saturday in his office, Kaimenyi said the government is committed to actualize its laptop pledge but a case pending in court challenging its procurement process has threatened to derail the fulfilment of the promise.

He said the court hurdle prompted the government to narrow down to computer labs as the best option of introducing ICT in schools.

“We had to behave like a river for when it is blocked it has to find another route,” said Kaimenyi in relation to government’s move to opt for computer labs instead of lap tops in the face of the court case.

The ambitious plan by the Jubilee government was set to deliver 1.3m laptops to schoolchildren. The project would cost more than $600m (53bn Kenyan shilling) and implementation will begin this year.

The project was also one of main promises by the Jubilee government in its campaign. The project falls under the first key pillar of the Jubilee Manifesto, Unity (Umoja), where the government promised to raise education standards and the Ministry of Education plans to roll-out the programme in three years.

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