ADEA supports the visit of a Kenyan delegation to Portugal to learn from the country’s successful implementation of an ICT in education policy

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) of the Government of Kenya (GoK) is currently exploring ways and means of implementing the “One-Laptop-Per-Child” pledge made by President Uhuru Kenyatta as he came into Office last year. The pledge has now become a policy and earlier in the year, MOEST officials approached the ADEA Task Force on ICT Integration to support them in identifying a best practice and a private ICT firm that will partner with them to deliver on the policy. After screening several options, the ICT Task Force identified the Portuguese consortium [email protected] that was instrumental in implementing one of the most successful ICT integration policies in the world: that of Portugal.

To facilitate the GoK’s decision and to enable it to appreciate the relevance of the Portuguese ICT in education experience, ADEA and the [email protected] leadership proposed that the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology undertake a fact-finding mission to Portugal November17-21, 2013. Hon. Jacob Kaimenyi was accompanied by two of his senior officers and an 8-member delegation of Kenyan Members of Parliament (MPs) serving on the Kenyan Parliament’s Education Committee that is overseeing education policies in the country.

 ADEA played a key role in brokering this Public-Private Partnership (PPP).  The Acting Executive Secretary, Hamidou Boukary, accompanied the Minister of Education of Kenya and his delegation during the visit in order to advise and also learn from the experience. [email protected] demonstrated that a successful one-laptop-per-child policy needs to be underpinned by an “eco-system” of interlinked public and private institutions and industries to enable “every student and teacher in the program to access Information, Communication and Scientific Technologies (ICSTs) including computing devices, content, software and applications all specially tailored for learning”. Without this, the laptop will be just a device devoid of any capacity to provide systematic learning.

 The Portuguese Minister of Education and Science, Mr. Nuno Crato exchanged on various issues with Hon. Kaimenyi, focusing on Portugal’s ICT policy and its implementation challenges and success factors.

 The delegation also visited the members of the [email protected] Consortium both in Lisbon and Porto. These included a leading publishing company (LeYa) that produces and digitizes textbooks for schools, Microsoft Portugal, Intel and JP - Inspiring Knowledge, a Portuguese company dedicated to the design, manufacturing and marketing of high-quality computer equipment, including the famous Magalhães computer (highly resistant to shocks and extreme climatic conditions).The JP plant in Porto revealed first-hand how the computers are assembled and the delegation received comprehensive presentations on curriculum development, teacher training and production of instructional materials. 

 It is expected that the ICT Task Force will be solicited by the Kenyan government for further support.