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Ruto promises to revive failed Jubilee school laptop project

Ruto promises to revive failed Jubileeadministration’s school laptop project along with a mass digital literacy program rollout.

The government of President William Ruto will revive the collapsed Jubilee school laptop project alongside a massive digital literacy program rollout.

Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary nominee Eliud Owalo, who appeared before the National Assembly’s Committee on Appointment on Friday, was responding to a question on how the President William Ruto-led government would actualize its pledge to lower data and calls.

“This is something that I believe is doable and in any case, we will do it through the Konza technopolis. There is already a rollout of the distribution of these laptops. But it’s not just an issue of distribution, it must be in tandem with a simultaneous undertaking of a massive e-literacy programme at all levels so that the demand in the market is responded to,” said Owalo.

The Sh24.6 billion project was hailed as the key to closing the digital skills gap in Kenyan schools during the first term of departed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

When the program began in 2016, the Uhuru-led government bragged that it had given tablets to 95% of Class 1 students. 

However, headteachers disclosed that the devices are still sitting in storage, accumulating dust.

Government reports indicate that the ambitious project crashed majorly because teachers and learners were ill-prepared for the rollout.

In 2019, the government shifted focus from laptop distribution, instead opting to build computer laboratories for 25,000 public primary schools across the country.

Lower primary public school teachers are not using technology in classrooms due to computer illiteracy, drawing attention to more than Sh30 billion spent on the laptop project.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology and Moi University (JKUAT) were awarded the tender whereby JKUAT was rolling out 1,250 devices daily while Moi University produced 600.

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