Kenya: CS Mucheru - 'Digital Literacy Programme Well On Course'

Joe Mucheru, CS, Ministry of ICT, Kenya, recently emphasized that the Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) is well on course and that the second phase will see computer laboratories built in schools.

The CS made this announcement while giving a keynote address during the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) National Executive Council annual meeting in Limuru. Whereby he clarified that the computer labs are meant to enable learners from the upper grades of class four to eight access computers for learning to ensure that there is inclusivity for all the learners.

"This idea is very noble and important; it continues to grow and has a budget allocated to it by the government," said Mucheru.

The programme which was started by the government in 2013 aims at ensuring pupils in standard one to three can use digital technology and communication tools in learning with an overarching objective of transforming learning in Kenya into a 21st Century education system.

On sustainability of the programme, the CS said that the tablets are being assembled locally by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Moi University. He said the institutions also deliver the devices to the learning centres.

Technology for social change

Mucheru further stated that the Government is committed to transforming the way it offers its services to Kenyans, citing the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) as such one commitment.

"Every Kenyan needs to get on the digital space. We need to transform how we offer services to Kenyans. We will take fingerprints and a photo that allows us to customise and give the best services to Kenyans," he said.

He noted that many young people are not aware of the immense job opportunities that are available online saying that over 100,000 young people are already working online while another estimated 300,000 are using technology to find jobs.

He said one of the key deliverables is to have Fibre Optic connectivity in every sub-county to enable the establishment of the Constituency Innovation Hubs (CIH). CIH is one of the pillars of the Ajira Digital Programme under the Ministry of ICT which aims to introduce young people to online work and provide them with the necessary tools, training and mentorship to enable them to work and earn a decent income on-line.

Present during the event was NCCK Secretary General Rev. Canon Peter Karanja who appreciated the priority the government has given to the ICT sector, which he said is the mainstay of all the global processes.

He also recognized the role the Ministry is doing in empowering young people economically through ICT adding that NCCK will work with the Ministry to ensure that more ground is covered in that respect.

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