Remote parts of Kenya have
trouble attracting professional teachers. Some schools are using
computers to compensate for the lack of human instructors. Despite
the obstacles digital learning brings with it, the schools are
pleased with the results.
Kenya’s digital learning
experiment is expanding, with both the government and private sector
championing its adoption. Digital learning – academic instruction
using a computer – is often considered an advantage when distance
is an obstacle to education. Schools in the drought-ravaged North
Eastern Province are now deploying computers to cope not with
distance, but an acute shortage of teachers.
Schools in northeastern
Kenya often have trouble attracting teachers because of the harsh
living conditions, poor infrastructure and constant attacks from
Ethiopian militia groups. Most schools in the region, which is the
least-developed part of Kenya, record dismal academic performances
and are estimated to have a paltry literacy rate of 8.5 percent.
Given the lack of teachers,
high illiteracy and poverty levels in this region, advocates of
digital learning say the computers are filling a crucial educational
gap. Take, for instance, Sakaba High School in Mandera West District,
which has a teacher shortage. Sakaba’s principal, Shabure Haji,
believes digital learning is a boon for his students.
students are able to use the Kenya Institute of Education digital
content”, said Haji. “Students are therefore able to learn and
access vital information even in the absence of a teacher”. The
school is currently awaiting the arrival of 11 computers the
government is giving it as part of an economic stimulus plan. Until
then, Sakaba’s 300 students have to scramble for time on the
existing 22 computers.
Thousands of miles
away, computers are helping educate the students at Turkana Girls
Secondary School, located in the Turkana region which has been
severely affected by drought. The principal of
Turkana, Sister Florence Nabwire, agrees that computers hold the key
to addressing the shortage of teachers.
(Source: AudienceScapes)Further details