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Rwanda tips Kenya on laptop project

By By AUGUSTINE ODUOR | Published Mon, October 14th 2013 at 00:00, Updated October 13th 2013 at 23:14 GMT +3
A Rwandese Class Four pupil explains to Kenyan members of the House Committee
on Education how the laptops for schools programme in his country works.



The government has been advised to fully involve all education stakeholders in the implementation of the Standard One pupils’ laptop programme if it is to succeed.

Rwanda Minister for Education Vincent Biruta said people living around schools are major stakeholders who must be sensitised ahead of the project roll-out next year.

He said the county governments’ administration structures must be used to engage local communities for them to appreciate the place of laptops in their children’s learning.

“These groups, once educated, will play a key role in ensuring security of these machines. They must, therefore, be made to understand the value and worth of the laptops in their children’s education,” he said.

Role of teachers

Biruta was addressing 26 members of the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology in his Kigali office last week.

He challenged the MPs to support the implementation of the laptops programme for the good of the children.

He said the programme transforms the role of the teacher in curriculum delivery and urged MPs and groups opposing ICT integration in schools to offer an alternative.

Rwanda, through the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme, and the House committee in partnership with the Institute of Capacity Building of Mt Kenya University, organised the visit.

The minister, who has been at the centre of implementation of OLPC for four years, said their programme has been successful because the community supported the project.

Content development

“Community training must be part and parcel of planning of this project. They cannot be ignored. All stakeholders must be brought on board systematically and this must extend to the local communities where schools are,” he said.

“These are major stakeholders because they are the people living around schools where the laptops will be sent and they must be educated to know that these gadgets are for the good of their children,” he said.

The minister said a content development for the learners was done for English, maths and science way before implementation.

House committee chair Sabinah Chege said the government is on the right track and the project will receive full support across the country.