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From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.
Kenya’s recently elected president has promised free laptop computers to every first-year student in the country’s schools. But some people question whether President Uhuru Kenyatta’s plan can succeed. The government is to begin giving out the computers early next year.
Muthaiga primary school outside Nairobi is like many other schools in Kenya and other countries. Teaching is done with chalkboards, textbooks and memorization. Head teacher Bernadette Owino says the new technology could provide an excellent chance for students to learn more. The world is becoming a small village, she says. Students need to connect with the rest of the world and become computer literate.
Some educators and students may be excited about the government’s laptop program. But others say the country is not ready. Many teachers are still not able to use computers themselves. And a lot of schools are in poor condition and do not have electricity. The post-primary teachers union says it supports the idea of giving computers to first-year students. But the union’s secretary general says students and teachers must first meet basic requirements. He says introducing technology may not help if basic math and reading skills are still a problem. The laptop program was a major campaign promise of Mr. Kenyatta. He won election in March by a narrow vote. But his new government is still working on how to pay for the program. Providing laptop computers for all first-year schoolchildren in Kenya is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars.