REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Health PS delivers 70 tablets to Tchundwa Primary School

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LAMU, Kenya, 11 October 2016 – Seventy tablets have been delivered to class one pupils of Tchundwa Primary School on Pate Island, in Lamu East Sub-County.

The Health Principal Secretary Dr. Nicholas Muraguri delivered the gadgets on Tuesday under the ongoing Digital Literacy Programme.

The project seeks to equip children with skills that will give them a competitive edge in the digital era of the 21st Century. The government plans to distribute one million tablets to class one pupils across the country before the end of the year.

More than 23,000 primary schools are targeted under the Programme spearheaded by Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries.

Speaking during the launch, Dr. Muraguri explained that the government has introduced ICT skills in all the schools in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the programme.

He revealed that 60,000 teachers have been trained in order to increase ICT capacities in schools and ensure that they are ready to guide the pupils in the implementation of the programme. The PS observed that the ICT skills would go a long way in the delivery of Kenya’s Vision 2030 observing that children with special needs will also get the gadgets.

“Our children must be prepared for the digital era and they must be ready to deal with the 21st Century. The first time I saw a laptop was while studying at the University of Nairobi and that was also the first time when I learnt about the email. It is therefore good for children to know how to use these things now,” he emphasised.

Lamu Deputy Governor Eric Mugo lauded the government’s efforts for driving the digital literacy agenda meant to transform the country’s education sector.

The gadgets have made learning interactive, allowing pupils to receive various assignments electronically. The class teacher has a special tablet that allows her to monitor what her pupils are doing.

Meanwhile the government has connected primary schools with electricity to ensure that the Digital Literacy Programme is successful. This has been done through the Last Mile Connectivity Project which has also enabled the communities living in far flung areas to tap electricity from the nearby schools.

“We appreciate the delivery of the promise and are happy that the government kept its promise. We were not sure that this would come because Lamu County has been marginalised for so long,” said Mr. Mugo.

During the event Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, Lamu Women Representative Shakilla Abdalla, Lamu East MP Athman Shariff and Lamu County Director of Education Peter Magiri expressed gratitude for the tablets arguing that they would revitalise learning in public schools. They urged the government to provide security to schools to prevent theft of the gadgets.

“We are truly honoured and grateful because the Jubilee government has recognised us after more than 50 years of independence. We also appreciate the government for all the health programmes because we have made big milestones here under Jubilee. We now have things that we never thought would come,” said Hon Shariff.

About 682 tablets have been distributed across Lamu County so far. Tchundwa primary school, which has a class one population of 63 pupils, becomes the ninth in Lamu County to receive the tablets out of the targeted 110 schools. The County is among six coastal Counties in Kenya and is about 466 kilometres from Nairobi.