Private schools land deal with US tech companies to buy laptops

By AUGUSTINE ODUOR

Kenya: Private schools have partnered with two US tech giants to roll out a programme to supply computers to the institutions.

The deal with software multinational corporation, Microsoft, and Intel Education, will see over 12,000 schools acquire laptops at a cost of Sh30,000 a piece.

Kenya Private Schools Association (Kepsa) chief executive Peter Ndoro said talks are underway to reduce the cost through bulk buying.

“The machines we are acquiring are superior. We shall negotiate further to get the best price,” said Mr Ndoro.

He spoke on Friday during a workshop on ICT integration organised by Kepsa and other education stakeholders.

Each laptop will cost Sh20,000 under the government’s laptops for schools programme.

Teachers trained

Ndoro said some 3,200 schools in nine regions across the country are targeted in the first phase.

He said over 300 teachers have been trained.

“We do not just want to purchase laptops but we want machines that will fully be used to integrate ICT in schools,” said Ndoro.

Private schools will have the option of buying tablets or laptops in the partnership announced yesterday.

Intel will provide the devices as Microsoft provides the software. Mitsumi will be the equipment distributer.

Intel business development manager, Alex Twinomugisha, said the firm will provide the right technology. It will help drive student achievement and lifelong learning.

“We are focused on designing tools that bring learning to life, helping to make students more engaged,” he said. “They include a range of devices from tablets to laptops, software, content, services and professional development for teachers.”

The official said the devices are rugged and could withstand a fall from a height of 70 cm.”

The machines are water and dust resistant.

Each laptop purchased under the arrangement will come with six months free Internet bundles from Safaricom. Microsoft 4Afrika Youth Enablement Director, Patrick Onwumere, said the choice of their applications includes the latest and most secure versions of Windows 8.1 and Office 365.

Twinomugisha said: “We also have applications that enable science exploration, data analysis and promote creativity.”


 

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