The unexpected closure of learning institutions has left the majority of public and private schools in Kenya with no online backup plans to continue with academic programs.
Schools are facing hurdles as they prepare for distance learning in response to KEMRI to plan for extended closures due to COVID-19.
The urge of adopting and implementing e-learning by both struggling and well established educational institutions has been national debate by both learners, institutional management, and the ministry of education in order to find a favorable learning environment that accommodates all social class learners.
As many Kenyan schools are considering implementing distance learning, there are important factors that are not being put into consideration with the fake assumption of both marginalized areas and magnified ones are equal in techno how and well-developed communication infrastructure.
Kenya is not like many developed countries that have embraced distance learning which acts as both an alternative of adding make-up days after school closure, and teaching future-ready skills.
We could have been at an advancing stage if what President Uhuru Kenyatta announced in 2013 that all the 1.2 million Class One pupils would get laptops and the expediency of the plan wouldn’t be questionable today.
Let facts be told, adopting the purported scheme is a riddle in Kenya starting from network connectivity issues to teacher training and lack of devices or internet at students’ rural homes.
Many students especially those in public universities who depend on government facilitation may not have access to a computer, laptop, or mobile device to access the e-learning activities at home.
A peasant’s pastoralists who wakes up on water and animal blood before sending cattle in the field still late evening barefoot cannot and will never be on the same level a rich kid in Karen Nairobi, who spends his/her day online playing games, reading online books, etc.
As much as the schools have the responsibility of deploying digital learning tools to their students, the funding becomes a challenge as the school may not have more for one-to-one programs.
As Anthony Mudimba keeps on saying that digital learning is good and makes learning susceptible, faster, and efficient but the country we are living in now has not set sufficient strategies and mechanisms to make it beneficial.
Which resonates equally with Yahil Felix’s questions of if Kenya has developed skills for digital tutor and good authoring environment for the program.