Schools have been closed for six months following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over that period, there hasn’t been much guidance from the education ministry about future developments or a plan to reopen education institutions.
However, word has it that the government is developing a plan that will see public schools teach four subjects using an online platform.
According to the Star, ICT CS Joe Mucheru divulged the details after he appeared before the Senate ICT Committee. The meeting was staged to shed light on the digital literacy program, as well as the availability of internet connection in schools.
Going by the CS’s statement, the project is said to go live next month, but as test in 1000 public schools.
At that time, the government will provide pupils with customized devices for online learning. The devices will be developed in partnership with Kenya universities.
Mucheru says that the government has set aside KES 15 billion for the project that will mark a start of adopting e-learning in public schools.
The funds will be used to expand the availability of fibre optic cables and building computer labs. Schools that do not have power access will also be connected to the grid.
The money will also be used to train teachers under the Digital Learning Project.
The project will reportedly kick off in October. The exact dates, selected public schools and the four subjects have not been revealed at this time.
UNICEF is also part of the organizations that will fund the e-learning project.
In the end, the government looks forward to availing the new learning model to more than 24000 public schools in the country.
It is not clear how the government will address perennial issues that have always plagued public institutions. For instance, the majority of schools in remote areas do not have access to power – of which the CS says solar power will be provided; some do not have proper classrooms. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how the government will address some of the concerns raised by the public.