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Govt to continue with laptop project as 700,000 benefit

More than 700,000 Class One pupils out of 1.2 million have received tablet computers under the digital literacy programme, Deputy President William Ruto has said.

Mr Ruto said more pupils will receive the devices, which have been behind schedule since 2013.

“We will bring more schools on board,” the Deputy President said in a speech read on his behalf by Basic Education Director Leah Rotich during the 9th national secondary school students leadership conference at Bomas of Kenya.

CAMPAIGN PLEDGE
The theme of the conference, which started on April 9, is “paradigm shift to 21st century skills in education”.

The Treasury has allocated the ICT ministry Sh13.4 billion for deployment of the laptops in schools, development of digital content, building capacity of teachers and establishment of computer laboratories for primary schools in the financial year starting July.

The Jubilee administration promised to deliver one laptop per Class One pupil in the run-up to the 2013 General Election.

READ: Pupils in Kilifi receive 156 tablets

READ: Primary school pupils finally get laptops

Mr Ruto said the government is determined to integrate ICT in learning, adding that “we are living in a world of changing technology”.

He said more than 22,000 schools have been connected to electricity and solar power since the coming into power of the Jubilee administration.

The DP said the ongoing curriculum reforms will focus on critical thinking, communication skills and ICT.

INDISCIPLINE CASES
On discipline, Mr Ruto asked students to shut bad practices such as school unrests, saying they should be able to channel their concerns to schools prefects who are now being elected democratically by them.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli said school heads will engage students in all aspects in order to produce quality leaders for Kenya in future.

“We rely on student’s leadership in schools for better management and we will help build their leadership skills,” added Mr Indimuli.

Various speakers raised concerns over school unrest cases that were reported last year, saying they should not be repeated again as they would erode gains made in the sector.

At the same time, the government plans to set up a team to investigate how schools have used the free education funds.

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