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MPs Blame Failure of CBC Roll out on Failed Laptop Project, Ask Education PS Tough Questions

The government’s multi-billion-shilling laptops programme for schools is currently an area of focus as legislators have begun questioning the viability of the Jubilee government projects.

The law makers have linked challenges of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) to the failure of rollout of the laptop project in schools, arguing that the laptops would have supported the new curriculum.

Additionally, they feel that the implementation of the digital literacy programme parents would have made parents to participate effectively in their children’s homework.

It was revealed in a parliamentary committee that so far, the ministry has released one million laptops to various primary schools. The MPs however questioned how the new curriculum would be implemented.

All these questions were directed to Education PS Julius Jwan when he appeared before the education committee on education, on behalf of Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

He was answering Kirinyaga Central MP John Wambugu on the measures the ministry has put in place to bridge the digital literacy divide among learners. Wambugu also wanted to find out the steps the ministry has taken to ensure continuous training on digital literacy for all teachers.

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“In my constituency, over half of the primary schools have no power or laptops as per the CBC syllabus. How are they expected to learn or do you think all schools are privileged?” he posed.

He also asked if CBC has a curriculum for parents. “Most parents in rural areas are illiterate yet you ask them to assist their children in homework. Is there a syllabus in this CBC for parents so that they also understand what they need to do?” he asked.

Nominated MP Wilson Sossion suggested the need to provide a proper analysis of CBC so that everyone can be well prepared.

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“Coming up to with a new curriculum means a lot for the country. But if we are talking about learners under the CBC from grade one to grade five, that is about seven to eight million pupils, so in every learning lesson do you really think the one million laptops are sufficient?” Sossion asked.

But PS Jwan on his part defended the ministry.

“There are always exemptions but indicating that we failed to supply laptops to schools probably may not be the correct interpretation. I want to confirm that there are schools in rural setups that are connected to and are using solar energy,” he said.

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The Sh24.6 billion laptop project was a jubilee government’s 2013 manifesto as the solution to the missing piece of digital skills in Kenyan schools.

The initial promise was to issue all Class One pupils with laptops, but tablets were distributed instead due to cost implications.

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