State working to boost reliable platforms on digital learning

Thursday, September 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Digital learning apps for children.

Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan yesterday said the government is working on modalities to boost digital literacy platforms, which can be fully relied on in times of crisis.

Dr Jwan said the Covid-19 pandemic crisis has brought to the fore the digital divide that exists around the world, and in particular, in developing countries.

Although the government adopted digital literacy during the pandemic, it was not widespread as it was expected.

“This occasion affords us an opportunity to relook at the role digital platforms play in sustaining and expanding the acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills when normal educational environment is disrupted,” said the PS.

To ensure retention and completion of learners in basic education institutions, he said the Government has developed re-entry guidelines for the dropouts through collaborative stakeholders approaches

“All relevant agencies and partners are advised to design and put in place quality, accessible and need driven learning programmes for adult learners and out of school youths to enhance participation of learners in the adult education programmes,” said Jwan.

Human-centred recovery

He made the remarks yesterday in Laikipia while marking the International Literacy Day, themed Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide.

During the school closure last year, he said the Ministry of Education set up measures to facilitate learning during the temporary closure mainly through radio, TV, YouTube and the Kenya education cloud through the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

He said when normal learning was disrupted, students experienced learning losses, which had a negative impact.

Jwan said reports about teenage pregnancy, early marriages, child labour, alcohol and drug abuse was rife, situation which threatened to undermine gains the government has made in ensuring access to quality education, retention and transition from one level to another.

The PS noted that widespread access to and availability of technology and the internet in the lives of learners would easily have addressed these challenges.

“The Covid-19 pandemic led to some learners, especially girls dropping out of school due to early pregnancies and marriages, among other social economic factors,” said the PS.

He reiterated that the Ministry is ensuring that the fees guidelines are strictly complied with to avoid overburdening of parents leading to unwarranted sending of learner’s home due to non-payment of extra levies resulting to disruption of learning and increased dropout cases.

“To enhance access, enhance retention and transition, the Ministry has consistently provided capitation grants to learners in all public learning institutions,” he stated.

He said the role of literacy cannot be over emphasised, noting that literate people are able to make informed decisions on various issues.

“In the field of agriculture, literate members of the community are able to access information on good agricultural practices.

In business circles they are able to keep records of business transactions hence enabling them to monitor their progress,” said the PS.

“Literacy is also critical in health matters. A literate person understands prescriptions for medicine and is able to read clinical wall posters on a visit to a health facility.

Literacy is also crucial in supporting education of the children,” he added.

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