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Kenya begins proof of concept for digital learning


The Digital Literacy Programme established with the objective to introduce e-learning in Kenyan schools is ready to conduct a pilot programme that will encompass 150 primary schools. This is considered to be a significant milestone for the Programme, a flagship project for the Jubilee government, that was established to provide laptops to standard one pupils in order to stimulate e-learning.

A statement from the country's ICT Ministry said: "The consortium of Moi University and JP SA Couto emerged the winner in two of the three lots which covers 26 counties whereas that of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Positivo BGH was awarded one lot covering 21 counties."

These two consortiums have now been given the green light to supply gadgets to the 150 schools evenly spread in the 47 counties. They also become the first two consortiums cleared to conduct the laptop project beyond the pilot phase.

The latest developments have been lauded as a major step forward after the project was halted in 2014 as a result of procurement irregularities involving Olive Telecom. The ministry of education through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has already released part of the e learning curriculum for pupils and this will be tested in the pilot.

The government also announced that 66,000 teachers have been trained and refresher training is expected in the next few weeks.

 

BRCK internet device to support Kenya's education

Internet supply and backup device BRCK, which ensures connectivity during power supply disruption, is now being targeted at Kenya's education sector.

Recently, the company named eLimu founder and CEO Nivi Mukherjee as the president of BRCK Education, a new division of the BRCK company. Mukherjee is tasked with positioning BRCK as a key component of the country's online education strategy. Her experience with eLimu, an online learning platform will blend well in adopting BRCK in learning institutions.

The BRCK can have up to 8 hours of battery and can hold over 2 terabytes of educational material, besides being able to connect to the internet through Wi-Fi and 3G.

"I am excited to join this great team that has demonstrated its ability to innovate effectively for Africa. I am privileged to be able to leverage this game-changing device, which will enable instantaneous access for up to 40 devices, to promote digital access in education," Mukherjee.

"What remains now is to curate localised and culturally relevant digital content that will improve the learning experience and outcomes for millions of students on the continent," she said.

BRCK has also signed a MoU with Kenyatta University, one of the top local universities to set up an assembly plant to push eLearning in Kenya. In a statement BRCK explained that the MoU covers joint collaboration in the design and development of innovative technological solutions, research, advocacy and stakeholder engagements, content development and training and capacity building.

Kenyatta University is known for following a strong eLearning strategy, equipping new students with tablets and having established a robust eLearning platform.

"We were the first university in the country to use tablets to deliver content to the students in the digital school. The tablets are very interactive with software that makes teaching easy and interactive. Following our partnership with BRCK, we hope to start a manufacturing plant to make cost effective tablets as well as scale up their use to other schools," said Prof. Olive Mugenda, vice chancellor of the university.

Apart from assembling mobile devices for learning, the university will also assemble the BRCK device giving more people job opportunities.

BRCK Board member Juliana Rotich said, "Education has been identified as the common thread that will shape a sustainable future for economies around the globe and digital technology is one of the tools that will provide a leg-up to this new mode of learning. Through this joint venture, we aim to overcome barriers in the sector and offer constructive value through content, connectivity and functionality."

 

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Image credit: Web Africa. Business of E-learning.

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Comet Training is a trading name for The Penny Ferry (Pty) Ltd, a limited liability company established in 1996. The Penny Ferry has been involved in hands-on training and e-learning for many years, specializing in the Marine, Environmental, Tourism, Industrial, Health and Technical markets. Through close associations with other organizations, Comet Training was established to better promote a suite of e-learning applications to the global markets.