Kenya has pioneered e-Learning in sub-Saharan Africa now that the Kenya Broadcast Corporation has launched digital content for use in schools. Doreen Apollos, writing on the Corporation’s website, introduces us to the development.
Kenya has become the first country in the sub-Saharan region to introduce digital content for Electronic Learning (e-Learning) in schools. The move is expected to see advancements in the education sector as both students and pupils can now study via the computer through interactive programmes.
Education Minister Professor Sam Ongeri officiated over the historic launch during which he dispelled fears among the teaching fraternity that e-Learning will cut down on human resources but rather urged the teachers to maximise on the ICT benefits.
The new digital content technology has so far seen Primary Level Standard Four and Five books as well as Secondary Form 1 and 2 Curriculum books converted into digital form; all this is intended to help the children grasp studies faster and to greater depth as the technology includes the use of sound, text and video.
Of course, the initiative is beset by various challenges including the fear of loss of jobs for teachers. Professor Ongeri assured teachers that they will be educated in the new technology and issued with laptops to facilitate the new technology, where mobile buses will be used to enhance ICT in all constituencies.
There is also the issue of how e-Learning will benefit the rural schools, some of which do not have electricity.
With 38% of Kenya’s population said to be illiterate, the new technology, which has been piloted in 19 schools countrywide, is expected to address the quality-service gap which arises from increased school attendance by pupils due to free primary education and other incentives in the education sector.
Before the initiative takes full course in primary classes 6,7 and 8 and secondary forms 3 and 4, the teachers have been urged to rally support behind the new technology in order to benefit.
The publishing sector is also expected to keep up with times and start making books available for E-learning.