NEPAD e-School Project: The Kenyan Case
Gitumu, Mugoh D.
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In July 2001, during the 37 th summit of the Heads of States the African Union (AU) adopted an integrated social-economic development framework for African renewal called the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). The objectives of NEPAD were well linked to the millennium development goals but centered around eradicating poverty levels in Africa, accelerating sustainable development, and halting the marginalization of Africa from the globalization process. These objectives would be achieved through capacity building and improvement of infrastructure in ICT, education, energy, transport and health sectors. An offshoot from NEPAD was a program known as the “NEPAD e-School Project” which was born and launched in Durban South Africa, at the African Summit of the World Economic Forum, in June 2003.The NEPAD e-school project aims at imparting ICT skills to primary and secondary schools, and harnessing ICT technologies to improve, enrich and expand access to education in Africa. Sixteen (16) countries acceded to the memorandum of understanding of NEPAD peer review mechanism and the pilot phase was launched in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. In Kenya, the pilot phase was initiated in six (6) Kenyan secondary schools in the year 2004. During the pilot phase, the program has registered achievement and challenges that this paper wishes to address. The paper explores and reviews the extent of use of ICT in the classroom, examines and provides data related to access of ICT equipment by students, analyses the competencies of the teaching staff in ICT integration, and describes the environmental acceptability of the NEPAD e-school initiative by the school community. The paper ends by giving its recommendations to individuals and institutions wishing to fund future ICT programs for schools in Kenya and in Africa.
- Master of Education