Frequently Asked Questions
What is DigiSchool?
It is the brand name of the Digital Learning Programme (DLP) which targets the use of digital technology and communications in learning for primary schools in Kenya.
What is the objective of the programme?
The purpose of the programme is to integrate ICT with the education curriculum so as to enhance effective delivery of learning materials to the learners.
Which schools are going to benefit from the programme?
All public primary schools in Kenya will benefit from the programme.
Is DigiSchool introducing ICT as a learning subject in primary schools?
No, in this programme ICT will be used as a teaching and learning tool.
Will DigiSchool replace the teacher in the classroom?
No, instead DigiSchool will enhance the teaching and learning experience by making the teacher more effective, efficient and resourceful in curriculum delivery.
When are all the public schools going to receive their devices?
The 150 schools in the pilot phase have all received their devices. Phase1 of the programme covering 11,000 primary schools started in August 2016 and is expected to end in December 2016. The last phase will start in January 2017 until June 2017, covering the remaining 12,000 schools.
When is full roll out and teacher training?
Full roll out started in August 2016. Teacher training is continuous and is expected that by full roll out, all primary school teachers will have been fully trained. Over 64,705 teachers have so far been trained. This number is expected to reach 124,000 teachers by June 2017.
How will Special Needs Education be taken care of?
The interest of special needs learners has been taken care of in the DigiSchool programme through provision of devices and content adapted to special needs.
Do private schools benefit from the programme?
Yes. Private schools can access the digital content and participate in teacher trainings by paying a fee. They are also allowed to buy similar devices from the contractors at a discounted rate.
How will I know that my school is ready for the programme?
An e-readiness survey was conducted in July 2015, which ascertained the level of e-readiness across public schools. Basic requirements include power supply, secure classroom with grill doors and windows, dustproof floor, availability of a secure storage cabinet with a charging unit and ventilation, flat, wide desks and at least 3 ICT trained teachers per school. You can read more at: www.digischool.icta.go.ke/e-readiness/
Are there any guidelines for model classrooms?
Yes. Specifications for model classrooms and devices can be found at: www.digischool.icta.go.ke/model-classroom/ or can be obtained from respective agencies. One can also get the information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What devices do schools expect to receive?
A complete set of devices for a school includes:
- Learner digital devices (tablets) as per the number of pupils in class 1 with content for class 1 and class 2
- 2 Laptops for Teachers
- 1 Projector
- 1 Digital Wireless Server
Special needs schools also have laptops and Braille embossers for special learners.
Are the devices for class 1 only or for the whole school?
The devices are to be used by the whole schools but the programme starts from lower primary. Teachers are encouraged to start creating their own content and make use of projectors and teacher laptops to teach upper classes as we await completion of content for the upper classes.
How should other classes access the devices?
The schools are asked to come up with a schedule which ensures that the whole school benefits from the usage of the digital devices for deployment of learning materials.
What are the plans for the upper classes on the programme?
The government is working on a plan for upper primary. In the meantime, schools are asked to ensure that the current programme benefits all learners and teachers in the school.
How does the teacher use the devices in teaching and learning?
A teacher is expected to prepare his/her lesson plan with digital content in mind and identify where digital content best applies during the course of the lesson.
Who develops the digital content?
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), is in charge of the development digital content. So far the devices come with pre-installed content for classes 1, 2 and 3, and content for other classes will be added progressively.
Which other organisations will be involved in developing digital content?
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), will continue to collaborate with education digital content providers and publishers to develop a curriculum that is digitally responsive and inspires our children to invent and innovate.
Are teachers allowed to create digital content that is not approved by KICD?
Teachers are allowed to create their own content and use other supplementary materials to enhance learning, and upload the content on the devices. But all the approved KICD contents are preferred.
How is additional content loaded on the devices?
A Cloud Strategy is being implemented so as to have a universal platform from which content from multiple platforms can be updated. Please refer to the manual supplied with equipment to get a step-by-step guide on the process of adding content.
How is content updated in case of new release?
Please refer to the manual supplied with equipment to get a step-by-step guide on the process of content update.
What happens to the teachers who do not know how to use digital technologies?
A comprehensive training plan for all teachers in public primary schools has been developed to ensure that teachers acquire the necessary training to be able to utilise the solution.
Can the pupils or teachers take the devices home?
No. All devices shall be stored in a secure storage space within the school when not in use and after classes.
Who is responsible for the devices at the school?
The school will identify the best person to be in charge of the devices but the head teacher is fully responsible.
What happens if the school is broken into and devices are stolen?
The devices are not insured and it is the responsibility of the school community to look for a way of getting the devices back or to replace them. The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government has made elaborate arrangements to extend security to schools when such a need arises.
What happens when a device is dropped and broken by the pupil?
The school guidelines and policy on the replacement of the device should be followed.
What happens when the device screen cracks?
The school should contact the call centre, on 020-667800, for assistance.
What happens when the device is faulty or is not working as required?
The school is advised to contact the call centre, on 020-667800, for assistance.
Are people from the community allowed to use the devices for their own lessons?
No. The devices are to be utilised by learners and teachers at school for now.
Will all the schools be connected to power?
All the schools will be connected to power either through the national grid or solar power.
Who will pay for electricity bills for the schools, given that they will shoot up on implementation of the programme?
The school should manage and pay their electricity bill as the government pursues other alternatives in future to address this issue.
What is electricity consumption per device?
Learner tablets – 10w, teacher laptops -12w, servers -24w.
How long should the device take to be fully charged?
Each device takes a maximum of 5 hours to be fully charged.
How long does the battery take to run down after full charge?
It takes a maximum of 8 hours while the device is new but with time this will reduce gradually.
How will schools manage bandwidth costs?
Presently, Safaricom Ltd has offered to give free Internet both in the pilot stage and after full implementation in the schools.
Who will carry out repairs and maintenance of the devices?
The programme’s contractors will maintain the devices for a period of 4 years, but schools may consider identifying a tech savvy teacher to provide basic support with the agreement of the contractors.
Who are the contractors of the programme?
The contractors are two consortia, one is a collaboration between Moi University and JP Couto; and another is a collaboration between Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Positivo BGH.
How will e-waste resulting from the project be managed?
The programme has been designed to comply with the e-waste policy and NEMA guidelines. The programme also requires the contractors to provide appropriate environmental measures for disposal, refurbishment and recycling when the gadgets, accessories and parts reach the end of their life cycle.
What is the role of Counties, County Directors of Education (CDEs), and other stakeholders in the programme?
County governments are crucial in coordinating and facilitating the implementation of the programme.
Are parents allowed to buy devices for their children to use in the programme?
Yes, parents and any other stakeholder are encouraged to support the programme.
Is there a plan to engage the stakeholders who would like to support the programme?
Yes. Any interested stakeholders should contact the DLP Secretariat on how to engage with the programme through the Digital Literacy Programme Secretariat on 020-6676800 or ICT Authority on 020-2089061 or email email@example.com.
Who should be contacted for general information on the programme?
Who are the implementing partners of the DigiSchool Programme?
There are three levels of administration; oversight, inter-ministerial and a technical implementation committee. A secretariat oversees the day to day running of the programme. The lead agencies are Ministry of ICT; Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; the ICT Authority; Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development; the Office of the Attorney General; and the National Treasury. Agencies include Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), Rural Development Authority (REA), and Kenya Power. Private players like Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya National Association of Parents (KNAP), Kenya Primary School Heads
Association (KEPSHA), and Kenya Publishers Association are also part of the technical team.
Where is the ICT Authority office?
On 12th Floor, Telposta Towers, Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi.