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E-LEARNING TO INCREASE TRANSITION RATES IN SCHOOLS

The transition rates from primary schools to secondary schools and higher institutions of learning are set to rise with the launch of e-learning in Kenya. The launch comes in the wake of finalization of a report on curriculum digitization and e-learning strategy development process initiated by the leading Curriculum development and research center in East Africa, Kenya Institute of Education (KIE). Since the inception of free primary education, the number of students enrolling for Primary education has increased tremendously bringing about imbalance in the teacher to student ratio. Recently there has been calls by the KNUT to hire 79,000 teachers to reach the internationally recommended ratio of one teacher to 35 students. This is not the case on the ground as some schools accommodates more than 100 pupils in a classroom. With the union projecting a shortfall of 115,000 teachers in the next couple of years as the population increases, e-learning will aid in controlling the ratio. Speaking during a stakeholders forum on e-learning strategy and digitization of content, the Secretary of Education in the Ministry of Education, George Godia said the digitized curriculum has the potential of changing the face of education in the country adding that digitization of content will enhance technological innovations in the country and the East African Region. “The potential for the digitized curriculum is enormous and the prospects will no doubt re-engineer our instructional processes, and the face of education in this country. It will also facilitate positive technological innovations in the Education sector in the East African region and the world at large,” said Godia. With the digital curriculum the users will have the experience of quality content, user friendly education software, assessments, information databases, electronic books, application software,open source software,collaboration tools and resources, video games, and virtual worlds. So far selected topics in primary level mathematics and science for classes five to seven and 12 subjects in the secondary level have been digitized by KIE, plans are also underway to see contents for TIVET, TTCs, adult and non-formal education digitized. “ Form one and two subjects have been digitized and for three and four are in the course of completion.”said the KIE director, Lydiah Nzomo. Content prioritized for digitization by KIE is based on topics with abstract concepts, difficult pedagogical presentation and those that can be digitized using multimedia elements. Within the education sector, it is widely accepted that e-learning plays a significant role in access, equity, quality and relevance and inclusiveness. Noting that effective implementation of the ICT usage in schools requires infrastructure, digital content, skills development and connectivity, the ministry through the Economic Stimulous Package (ESP) gave funds to schools for the purchase of computers and equipments to facilitate the transition from the classroom lessons to e-learning. “The Ministry has endeavored to provide equipment to schools, through the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) schools were given funds to buy 11 computers, 11 UPS, digital content from KIE and connectivity. This is a key milestone for the schools in the aspect of improving integration of ICT in teaching and learning,” said Godia. The equipments that were provided to over 1000 schools, was funded to a tune of Sh480 million. Nzomo, said e-learning is an educational tool for all and gives schools a digital edge adding that it will provide a platform for digital dissemination across the country from this year to 2014. she also said the roll out is expected to start by June next year and will see the institution withdraw its programmes from Kenya Broadcasting Corporation(KBC) which has facilitated the airing of educational programmes for a long time. “We will provide our digitised programmes through the digital platform next year, we will no longer need to rely on KBC anymore. Digital broadcasting is set to roll out by June next year and will see the country moving from analogue system ahead of the 2015 international deadline. During the stakeholders forum, Provision of adequate infrastructure and human resources , Setting up of an e-learning data center and the enhancement of the existing Elimika e-learning portal were the main strategies aimed at addressing the roll out challenges. Elimika e-learning portal will enable learners and learning Institutions access digital content. Other strategies included, development of e-learning standards and guidelines through developing criteria to evaluate quality digital resources, identification of opportunities through benchmarking on best practices and sourcing for relevant e-learning resources ,carrying out research monitoring and evaluation to ensure continued improvement of the digitized curriculum. According to the Education Secretary, the strategies will provide a logical and systematic approach to implementation and delivery of digital curriculum and e-learning to all levels of education. “The strategies will support the harmonization and coordination of the digitization of the curriculum content as well as the e-learning initiatives in Kenya,” he said.

E-LEARNING TO INCREASE TRANSITION RATES IN SCHOOLS Reviewed by on . The transition rates from primary schools to secondary schools and higher institutions of learning are set to rise with the launch of e-learning in Kenya. The l The transition rates from primary schools to secondary schools and higher institutions of learning are set to rise with the launch of e-learning in Kenya. The l Rating:
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