Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development is at the forefront of the digital literacy program as they have developed digital content for Std One pupils and a curriculum for training teachers. This is in line with the government’s call to provide laptops for Standard One pupils.
The digital literacy program has been filled with several tendering mishaps but it is finally a reality. The scope of the program is set to roll out in over 150 schools around the country in all 47 counties. The pilot phase will see the program set up in three schools in each county representing the urban, peri-urban and rural areas and nine schools representing special needs schools. The 150 schools selected were certified to be e-ready by school head teachers in collaboration with County Education Officers. The e-readiness tool assessed the number of teachers trained, electricity connection and metering, device storage facilities, appropriate desks and availability of a secure classroom.
It will see digital content developed, digital devices for learners and teachers provided as well as capacity development for teachers and implementers. KICD has been at the forefront of providing digital content both for learners and teachers and recently launched digital content for Standard One in early December. The content has been made available through an interactive platform where anyone can access it using any internet enabled device through the URL: www.kicdinteractivecontent.ac.ke
The e-content has been derived from the syllabus and this will level the playing field as learners will be exposed to the same content. “ICT will equalize children everywhere as those from rural and urban areas will access the same material.” Said Educationist John Mugo. Experts agree that the entry of digital content in education will change everything for the Kenyan child while partnerships with the network providers such as Safaricom and Airtel will provide internet connectivity around the country.
Teachers are also excited about the digital literacy programme as it moves pressure off teachers by making the curriculum learner based instead of teacher based. “This is highly interactive and children will learn new skills. Once we train our teachers on ICT it will be of great help as it will reduce the workload”. Says Mbagathi Primary National Trainer Christine Akello.
SDDMES Mr. John Kimotho who has been at the forefront of the development of the e-content praised the Institute for fulfilling its mandate by developing digital content and a training manual for teachers and implementers. “Creating innovation and improving creativity makes Kenya fit in the 21st Century”. Said Mr. Kimotho
KICD has started the process of reforming the curriculum and has already carried out a needs assessment in all 47 counties. (KICD) is also working towards liberalization of learning content and it’s availability on multiple platforms. It will provide online training course for teacher training on ICT integration.
Digital content will not replace normal learning but will enhance the same. As a country, embracing technology is important as the world has changed. Business models will have to change for publishers as the scope will be expanded. Prices will also fall and the education ministry will have to adapt change.