26 July 2016

Bringing Digital Literacy to Kenyan schools

“We have no reason anymore not to improve our grades, because now we are better equipped, even more than our neighbouring schools who have been outperforming us” said Boniface Nakori, the head teacher of Sionta Primary School in Samburu County. The school, which was constructed in the middle of a pastoral zone, did not have many facilities, until recently. It is a similar story in the neighbouring Turkana county, where many schools do exist, but with inadequate facilities. One of the tenets of providing a basic education is accessibility, but if the education that we provide our children is to be meaningful, there has to be an equal emphasis on quality. And today, providing quality education also means ensuring that children are not left behind on the rapid strides made in the digital age.

Under its Education Resource Centre (ERC) project, Pragya conducted training across seven schools, in Samburu and Turkana counties in Northern Kenya, and provided schools with digital learning equipment and teaching learning materials (TLMs). The provision of DVDs and other materials ensures that quality education is delivered to the students. In many schools, the system was already in operation for sometime now, and the feedback from the students was enthusiastic. In the Kapua Primary School, the TVs had been linked with satellite television, enabling the school to tune into education programs. Mrs. Kerio, a guidance and counseling teacher in Nakwamekwi School, found the material useful in teaching the students about sex education, especially the symptoms and effects of various sexually transmitted diseases. The teachers found the materials immensely helpful in teaching science subjects that tend to require a lot of illustrations, which was made easy; and in some instances, the project helped the students who had never used laptops to do so. One of the outcomes of the project is that it familiarizes the students with digital materials, providing them with the necessary skills and confidence to function in the digital age.

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