The Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) has been received with enthusiasm in primary schools in Tharaka Nithi County with truancy declining almost to zero as both pupils and teachers longing to learn how to use the tablets.
The head teacher of Iruma Primary School in Maara Sub-county Kathera Kailemia said the Digital Learning Programme has been a big success in that many pupils no longer imagine missing going into the computer room.
“Today I had a pupil who had declined to be taken to hospital by his mother because he was aware of your visit and could not imagine missing the learning in the computer room. I had to persuade him all would be well for him to agree to be taken to hospital,” the head teacher told the County Development Implementation Committee (CDICC) who visited the school Friday.
Kailemia, who also appreciated the recent de-localization exercise for head teachers by the government said he found the school performing quite poorly and is determined to leave a legacy that will live for more than ten years, while he joins Uhuru Kenyatta in leaving office in 2022 when he is due to retire.
“Although I am diabetic and advanced in age, I took the transfer positively looking at it as a way of giving back to this community where I was educated,” said the head teacher, who is an alumni of Chogoria Boys’ High School in the same Sub-county.
Kailemia who was transferred from Igembe South Sub-county in the neighbouring Meru-County said his track record of good performance in big schools was the basis in which he was placed by Sub-County Director of Education at Iruma Primary School which has the highest enrollment in the county.
The enthusiastic teacher vividly narrated how he found the school under poor performance due to indifference to academics and extra-curriculum activities by the pupils and teachers alike which to him was unheard off.
“Pupils would arrive to school while we were already in parade. This had to come to an end and with co-operation from the teachers who are committed to performance the pupils now are always in class doing their preps by 6.30 in the morning every school day,” said the head teacher who displayed the performance index improvement from the school records.
Luckily for the school as the CDICC committee confirmed, there is a computer lab with grilled windows and a strong room for the safety of the computers, besides electricity from the national grid and sockets to enable the devices to be charged as need arises, while seven out of the total of nineteen teachers in the school trained to teach with the devices.
The head teacher hailed the ICT Officer in the county Ms. Mwendwa Mugambi who was part of the CDICC team for her endless efforts to train the teachers, despite their earlier resistance to utilize her services to train all teachers during the December vacation to avoid disrupting the school curriculum.
The Maara Deputy County Commissioner who represented the County Commissioner during the visit promised to be a regular visitor to the school and also give total support the head teacher to make DLP a big success.
The other departments who were representing the CDICC during the site visit included Education and Information as well as the Deputy Director in the President’s Delivery Unit who is the secretary to the committee Ms. Loice Shuma.
By David Mutwiri