Lang’ata Rotary Club, Computers for Schools Kenya and the Semiconductor Technologies Limited-Kenya’s first semiconductor manufacturing company-have partnered to set up a digital lab for pupils at Kamburaini primary school in Kieni, Nyeri County.
The lab which is fitted with 19 computers, a printer and WiFi will provide the close to 250 learners from the school opportunity to gain digital literacy skills.
According to Lang’ata rotary club president, Abdi Dubat, the lab will be open to neighbouring schools as well as members of the public who previously travelled 10 kilometres to access internet services.
Dubat said that the computers would run on solar power invertors which will ensure that learning proceeds even in the absence of electricity. He noted that the computers were already pre-installed with learning content for grade one to standard eight while the training of teachers set to commence this week.
He also said that the club had earmarked a total of 10 primary schools in Nairobi, Nyeri, Kilifi and Kakamega counties to benefit from the Digital Literacy Lab project this year.
The president said that the aim of the labs was to make digital literacy accessible for learners from less privileged backgrounds especially those in schools that were yet to set up infrastructure to enable e-learning.
“The world is going digital and it is expected that children in Kamburaini and in other parts of the country are going to compete in the same market for the same opportunities and they are expected to be digitally literate,” he said.
“So children who do not have the advantage of interacting with technology will be at a disadvantage so our other objective is to bridge the gap by ensuring we provide digital labs to such children,” he said.
Speaking during the launch, Njihia Munyambo, a teacher at the school said that the lab would make it easy for learners to relate with some of the content being offered under the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).
He also said that the lab would act as a source of encouragement for learners in the school to take computer classes which were less popular due to lack of IT facilities.
“CBC puts a lot of emphasis on developing competencies one of them being digital skills. Previously we had to skip instructions that provided an online link due to lack of computers but now we are happy because with these machines, learners will get an opportunity to access the learning material embedded in links,” he said.
According to the sponsorship arrangement, in addition to updating the curriculum, Computers for Schools together with Semiconductor Technologies Limited will also be responsible for frequent maintenance of the desktops. Semiconductor Technologies Limited director, Anthony Githinji, reassured teachers and the pupils that the content was safe.
He said that the lab would be operating on a closed system as a way of safeguarding the learners from accessing uncensored content online.
“We have put in place censorship measures and we do not anticipate that we will have any difficulties with the children accessing content that they shouldn’t see,” said Githinji.
By Wangari Mwangi and Simon Kanyora