11,500 Kenya Standard One pupils to get laptops today

ICT Director of Programmes and Standards Ronoh Kipronoh (left) and TSC Director of Teacher Management Mary Rotich show samples of the laptops and tablets that schools will get. At least 11,570 Standard One pupils from 150 selected schools countrywide will today start receiving free laptops. (PHOTO: FILE/ STANDARD)

At least 11,570 Standard One pupils from 150 selected schools countrywide will Tuesday start receiving free laptops. This comes as the Government begins to roll out the Sh17 billion laptop project.

In this pilot phase, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) and Moi University will provide laptops, routers and servers.

In the first phase, each county will benefit, with one to three primary schools receiving the tablets for pupils and laptops for teachers.

It is expected that all primary schools will have been connected to electricity before the end of next year to increase the outreach of the project even in the remotest parts of the country.

Portuguese firm JP SA Couto, in partnership with Moi University, will supply the laptops to 26 counties while Jkuat, together with Positivo BGH (a joint venture between an Argentinian and Brazilian firm), will supply the gadgets to 21 counties, thereby covering all 47 counties.

In the second phase set to commence in June, the Government is targeting to deliver more than 600,000 laptops to primary schools.

During this phase, the ICT ministry has been tasked with gauging the ability of the suppliers to deliver on schedule and adhere to specifications of the devices.
"The phase will last for 12 weeks," said ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, when he announced the launch of the project.

The ministry assured that chances of failure during the pilot stage are limited since both JP SA Couto and Positivo BGH have been involved in similar projects worldwide on several occasions.

Jkuat's partner in the tender, Positivo BGH, has delivered similar projects in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Rwanda among other places.

An earlier statement from the Information and Communication Technology Authority had indicated the digital learning programme would be implemented in two phases.

It is projected that by the end of this year, about 600,000 digital learning devices shall have been distributed across all the selected schools.

Some 23,596 tablets for teachers and another 11,798 projectors were to be distributed across the selected schools in phase one.