Busia County Commissioner Jacob Narengo has urged headteachers to ensure that the digital Literacy Programme gadgets are well kept.
Speaking during the County Development, Implementation and Coordination Committee Meeting on Thursday, Nerengo said that the government has spent a lot of funds in purchasing the gadgets for the lower primary school pupils.
‘This project should be guarded at all costs,’ he said directing all the Sub County Security and Education officers to come up with the DLP steering committee with a view to monitor and ensure the safety of the gadgets.
Narengo at the same advised the County TSC Director to device a template for all headteachers to guide them on how to file monthly returns of the devices.
He further directed the County Directorate of Criminal Investigation Officer to fastrack the investigations on the reported cases of lost devices and ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted.
The County Commissioner however commended Kenya Power and Lighting Company and Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation for ensuring that all the 432 public primary schools across the county are connected to electricity.
Busia County ICT Authority Officer Edwin Rotich cited theft of the gadgets as the major challenge facing the program.
Rotich stated that 120 cases of theft have been reported to various police stations within the county with only one suspect being arrested and arraigned since the inception of the project in 2016.
‘It is very sad that investigations on the same gadgets are very slow,’ he said adding that the gadgets cost shs. 21,000 each.
He pointed out that a section of headteachers do not report loss of such gadgets until the ICT team visits their facilities.
The ICT officer further cited power outages especially in Teso North Sub County as another challenge affecting the use of gadgets by learners.
‘Kenya power should at least try to minimize the power outages and notify schools whenever they are carrying maintenance of power lines,’ he said.
Busia County Director of Education, Thadeus Awuor blamed laxity among a section of headteachers for the loses.
Awuor disclosed that the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development is currently working on the Competency-Based Curriculum and will infuse the contents in all subjects in the digital learning devices by next year.
Busia County received 31567 learners digital devices, 864 teachers digital devices 432 servers and 432 projectors.
A total of 1480 teachers have been trained on the program and ICT Authority officers in liaison with the Ministry of Education and Teachers’ Service Commission have plans to train three teachers per school early next year.
The Digital Learning Program is one of the Government flagship projects launched in 2016 to ensure that digital literacy is instilled in all public primary schools especially among pupils in lower classes.