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The government’s efforts to initiate Digital Learning Programme (DLP) is aimed at preparing pupils to be digital compliant while promoting learning at all primary schools countrywide.


Information Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA) Director Bertha Dena who represented the National Treasury Principal Secretary Dr. Kamau Thugge at Arya Primary School in Kisumu, said that digital learning programme being implemented by the Jubilee government countrywide is proving a big success as pupils are excited and are enjoying its interactive benefits while using the tablets provided.
“The overall objective of the Digital Literacy Programme is to prepare our children for the 21st skills needed in today’s globally competitive environment,” Ms Dena said.
The ICT Authority Director said that the purpose of the government officials’ (Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and other top government officials) visit and launch is to “inspect the progress of installation and have one-on-one with the beneficiaries – the community in general and the learners in particular. It is also an opportunity for Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries to interact with the people at the grassroots level and assess government programmes in education.”  
Ms Dena said that DLP is a government flagship project for Vision 2030’s social pillar which is aimed at making Kenya a knowledge based economy.
The Digital Learning Programme covers over 23,000 public primary schools, targeting nearly a million class one pupils. This programmme started with installation of pilot devices in 150 selected schools across the country in June 2016 and the rest of the devices arrived from August and are currently being installed nationally. The government aims to install devices to all the schools by December 2016.
Arya Primary School which has 2000 pupils, 36 Teachers from Teachers Service Commission and 6 ECD teachers, received 235 tablets, two laptops for the teachers, one projector and one storage and router device used to access and store shared content. The school also has a secure physical storage cabinet with electrical sockets for charging the devices. The primary is a 5-stream school but it currently operates on a 3-stream school due to lack of space.   
It has now been established after the launch of this digital learning programme that most pupils spend more time in their classrooms and no longer miss classes like there before the launch.
Reports indicate that where this progamme has been launched, the pupils have shown confidence and improved their interactive sessions making them grasp the concepts being taught by their teachers easily and faster.
In order to ensure smooth implementation, ICT skills have been introduced in all the schools.
According to the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), more than 60,000 teachers (three per school, categorized as Trainer of Trainers) were trained to ensure smooth ICT implementation, who are then required to train other teachers. In the end ICT capacity will increase across the education landscape.
In order to succeed in implementing this programme, the government adopted a collaborative approach by engaging all stakeholders in this project.
Ministries of Education, ICT, Energy, and Industrialization together with their agencies and departments such as Rural Electrification Authority, Kenya Power & Lighting, Kenya Institute of Curriculum development, ICT Authority, Teachers Service Commission, Kenya National Union of Teachers among others all came together to support and implement this program.
Ms Dena said that it is important to “encourage other projects in the national and county governments to adopt this collaborative approach.”
She said that “as government, we are convinced that DLP puts the country in the right track to be a global ICT player. We urge for concerted and collaborative effort to ensure that this project succeeds. Local communities must put in place mechanism to ensure that these devices are secure. After all it is our future at stake.”
Those attending the launch were Members of County Executive Committees and Members of County Assembly), Deputy County Commissioner, County Directors of Education and entire team, Ministry of Education officials, ICT Authority officials and all those involved in organizing the event.

 

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Mrs Beatrice Wanga, a teacher, Arya Primary School distributes tablet computers to pupils during the launch of the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) at their school today in Kisumu County. Bertha Dena, a Director, Information, Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA) was the chief guest representing the Principal Secretary, National Treasury, Dr Kamau Thugge.

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Bertha Dena, a Director, Information, Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA), who represented the Principal Secretary, National Treasury, Dr Kamau Thugge, delivers the keynote address to  officially launch the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) at Arya Primary School today.  

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Pupils of operating tablet computers during the official launch of the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) at Arya Primary School in Kisumu County today.

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Bertha Dena, a Director, Information, Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA) presents Certificate to Brena Brillian Omondi acknowledging her completion of Technovation training in which with other pupils of the school participated in creating computer Applications (APPs) with the guidance of ICT officers from the Presidential DigiTalent Program today during official launch of the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) at Arya Primary School today in Kisumu County.  

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Bertha Dena, a Director, Information, Communication and Technology Authority (6th Seated Right), John Mark Ouma, Head Teacher, Arya Primary School, other government officers and dignitaries pose for a group photo with 235 Arya Primary School pupils who received the government DLP tablets computers at today during official launch the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) at the  School in Kisumu County.  

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Bertha Dena, a Director, Information, Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA) cuts ribbon as she officially launches the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) at Arya Primary School today.   Dena represented the Principal Secretary, National Treasury, Dr Kamau Thugge.


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Bertha Dena, a Director, Information, Communication and Technology Authority (ICTA) gets assistance from pupils to operate a tablet when she officially launched the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) at Arya Primary School today. Dena represented the Principal Secretary, National Treasury, Dr Kamau Thugge.

Pictures by Kibet Cheptumo/KNA