Machakos County Government in partnership with I Choose Life Africa (ICL) and University of Nairobi (UON) on Thursday validated a Sh3.5 billion plan to improve education standards in Kangundo ahead of looming job opportunities at the Konza Techno City. With massive job opportunities imminent at the multi-billion Konza Techno City, there have been growing concern whether the region is technologically prepared to grab opportunities. The government estimates that more than 20,000 IT jobs will be created in Konza and more than 200,000 jobs by 2030.
In recent years, Kangundo Sub County has been recording one of the worst performances in national exams with an average student recording a mean grade of D.The three year plan (2016-2019) however, seeks to reverse these worrying trends by improving grades to mean grade of B with aim of converting the region into a Silicon Savannah. Speaking during the ceremony held at Misyani Girls’ High School, the CEO of ICL Eng. Mike Mutungi said adoption of the strategy is crucial in equipping students with necessary skills to beat the digital literacy disparity in the region.
“Under the plan, we seek to equip 26 schools with ICT infrastructure and enrolling 20,000 students to be certified in Internet Computing Core Certification (IC3),” he said.
Adding that: “We also want to see some 240 teachers certified in Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) as well as equipping one technical training institute to train technology artisans.”
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has developed standards of measuring IT skills through IC3 and MCE certification and issuance of globally recognized certificates.
In an effort to provide real time accurate data for decision making, the plan will in cooperate the use of Biometric Student Information Management System (BioSIM) technology.
BioSIM is an information system that uses the iris as a unique personal identification. Mr Mutungi noted that the system will revolutionize data management, thus resulting into real time patient care as well as improved student learning. Kangundo Sub County Director of Education Hadard Wanjau noted that adoption of tech in learning will make it easier for teachers to deliver curriculum as well as make learning interesting. He also noted that the sector has been struggling with timely generation of reports in schools for planning purposes. “Currently, it takes more than four days to compile and share a report with the Ministry of Education in Nairobi. If we were to adopt technology, such reports would be available in a few minutes,” he said. Kangundo North Member of County Assembly (MCA) Francis Matheka promised to mobilise other MCAs in the region to sponsor at least one teacher in every school to take MCE courses.