Magoha Revisits Uhuruto Laptops Project

  • Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Wednesday, August 12 addressed the failed digital literacy project during a meeting with university stakeholders.

    Magoha revisited the project which was one of the key promises made by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto ahead of their election for the first term in 2013.

    He blamed government functionaries for failing to implement the project, stating that it would have facilitated digital learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Before the project was officially abandoned in 2019 with the government opting to build computer laboratories in schools instead, the government had promised to avail a laptop to each learner joining Grade One.

    Education CS George Magoha addresses legislators in Parliament February 2020

    The Ministry of Education has faced criticism for its roll-out of digital classes as well as TV and radio learning programs, with many arguing that it fostered inequality as many children had been left out.

    In what was a response to the challenges that emerged, Magoha later announced that communal classes would be undertaken in community spaces including social halls and under trees.

    Protocols being drafted for the new process will see the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) assign teachers to various areas, with schools not re-opening until January 2021.

    At the forum, Magoha also met with Vice-Chancellors of universities in the country and offered advice on various reforms required for the institutions to adapt.

    The CS advised institutions to invest in online learning infrastructure to ensure they were able to offer education even during the pandemic.

    He further called for universities to become less reliant on government funding by developing sustainable self-reliant models.

    The two-day forum was attended by govt officials including Principal Secretary, University Education and Research Simon Nabukwesi, as well as several Vice-Chancellors.

    Magoha stated that he was impressed by compliance of universities with Covid-19 measures, stating that over 70 percent of the institutions were in compliance.

    Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha at KNEC Offices in Nairobi on December 18, 2019
    Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha at KNEC Offices in Nairobi on December 18, 2019
    Simon Kiragu

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