Online Learning in Kenya
During a recent conversation with public primary school teachers and head teachers, we discussed the topic of computer literacy in schools. It was clear that many teachers lack even the most basic knowledge of operating a computer, let alone more complex tasks. In today's technology-driven era, computer literacy is crucial, and if our teachers are not equipped with this knowledge, how can we expect to prepare our children for the modern world?
Teaching e-learning without a basic understanding of computers is challenging. Unfortunately, computer literacy in the lower levels of education in Kenya is not well-established. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, schools were forced to close, and young children had to resort to online learning.
Digital learning in primary and secondary schools in Kenya is feasible. Many parents own devices that can facilitate online learning, and internet penetration in Kenya is high, with over 85% of Kenyans having access to a 3G connection. However, the challenge lies in the lack of human resources who can effectively teach online.
The adoption of computer literacy among public school teachers in Kenya has been slow. Despite the government's commitment to integrating ICT in teaching and learning, progress has been limited. While teachers have undergone training programs to improve teaching and professionalism, the effectiveness of these programs has been questionable.
Challenges of Online Learning
The state of e-learning in Kenya is inadequate, as evidenced by the following challenges:
Insufficient technology infrastructure in schools to facilitate digital learning for students
Inadequate preparation of teachers to engage in digital learning due to lack of necessary skills.
Busy parents who cannot afford to tutor their children on digital learning
The traditional pedagogical approach in Kenya has not adequately prepared stakeholders for virtual schooling
Lack of dedicated online learning systems in lower levels of learning due to high costs, complexity of operation and maintenance
Comprehensive training is crucial and should encompass both the advantages and the technical competencies and proficiencies necessary. As technology continues to advance rapidly worldwide, we cannot afford to fall further behind as a nation. The success of our young generation lies in their ability to harness technology, and therefore, we must all play a role in fostering digital learning.
Overall, e-learning remains a complex approach for most people in public schools, whereas private schools have been more successful in implementing it. However, the majority of learners are in public schools, and it is essential for the country to improve digital learning. To achieve this, there should be sufficient civic education and training among teachers.