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High School Students to Get Computers From State
Source: Daily Nation
Source Date: Monday, November 28, 2011
Focus: E-Procurement
Country: Kenya
Created: Dec 01, 2011

Government is to give tablet computers to high school students as part of a program to increase access to education and bridge the digital divide. The program comes two years after the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) promised to provide primary school children in Kenya with free laptops. OLPC stalled after giving less than 10 schools laptops with experts saying it was overtaken by the rapidly evolving technology and lack of electricity in many of the schools in the country. "We are moving to tablet computers. They are cheaper, more agile and mobile," Permanent Secretary Information and Communication, Dr Bitange Ndemo, told the Daily Nation in an interview. The project will commence within the next six months, once the Ministry of Education approves the gadgets and their content. The goal is to provide every high school student with a tablet computer at a cost of between Sh6,000 and Sh8,000 to the government. Create jobs "This is much cheaper than the technology we had before. The machines are also very durable," Dr Ndemo said. Using solar power, the devices run content sourced from free online archives. Local educationists will also be given the opportunity to develop material. "Digitising education will create jobs. We will need people to generate content and to format it for the tablet," Google's Regional Lead Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Joseph Mucheru, said. Local firms will be invited to fund the project by buying advertising space on the tablets. Dr Ndemo is confident that his project will not run into similar pitfalls. "Tablet technology has evolved from mobile phone technology, which people find easier to use," he said.
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