Challenges facing ICT Education in Kenya.


Date Posted: 7/2/2012 7:52:23 AM

Posted By: sirayiemba  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 58

ICT is a core aspect of the Kenyan society in terms of development and hence its full utilization will in effect lead to proper achievement of Vision 2030 and make Kenya the African ICT hub.
But its development faces major challenges as it is rather difficult to transfer ICT knowledge to the Kenyan schools.
Let's therefore look at some of the challenges facing ICT education in our beloved country Kenya:

-Lack of the core ICT resource (computers)!: Computers are still very expensive and despite spirited efforts by the government agencies, NGO, corporate organizations and individuals to donate computers to as many schools as possible, there still remains a big percentage of the schools unable to purchase computers for use by their pupils.

-Lack of qualified ICT teachers: The demand for ICT learning has been tremendous and the number of teachers who are trained to teach ICT cannot meet the demand. There are more students willing to be taught computing skills than there are teaches to transfer the skills.

-Lack of computer maintenance skills: While a good number of schools have benefited from donated used computers, they have not been adequately equipped with the same on maintenance and repair, hence its very common to see a schools computer lab full of broken down computers, some repairable and some not.

-Lack of power/electricity: Many schools are still not yet connected to electricity; Kenya being a developing country, the government has not been able to connect all parts of the country to the national electricity grid. Consequently those schools that fall under such areas are left handicapped and may not be able to offer computer studies.

-Burglary/Theft: The fact that computers are still very expensive in Kenya, makes them a target for thieves who usually have ready markets to another party at a much less figure. This has made many schools to incur extra expenses trying to burglar proof the computer rooms. This extra expense makes some schools shy away from purchasing computers for their students.

-Lack of internet or slow connectivity: Most schools are not able to connect to the world wide web, due to the high costs involved in the connectivity. On average, it may cost approximately $120 per month to connect to about 15 computers on a bandwidth of 128/64kbps. This is considered as very expensive for a very slow speed.

-Fear by the administration: There is still a strong perception especially by the older generation that computers require highly skilled personnel to operate them, while this may not be the case, some school administrators also fear that their students will be exposed to adult sites and other undesired sites, through the use of the internet. Some also fear the infection of viruses to their computers leading to data loss, while this may be true to some extent, proper education on the safe use of computers and help alleviate some of this fears.

-Fear by the teacher: the teacher may fear being rendered irrelevant by the introduction of computers in his/her class. The ‘feel’ that the teacher still remains an authority and a ‘know it all’ in class is something that most teachers cherish, and anything that makes them otherwise is deemed an enemy of the classroom.

-Lack of initiative by the community leaders: The community leaders who are charged with looking at the interests of a given community do not see the need to purchase and subsequent installations of computers to their schools as a priority. They consider health care, provision of water and other amenities as more important than buying computers for their schools.

Tackling of these challenges by the Kenyan Government can and will propel Kenya to economic success!

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