LONDON, 28-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Ambitious plans to boost IT literacy in Kenya by supplying thousands of primary schools with brand-new laptops are being supported by G4S.
The Kenyan government has pledged to provide 22,000 schools across 47 counties with the portable computers over the next two years.
It believes that the ‘Digischool’ programme will boost both education by putting Kenyan schoolchildren on a par with their global counterparts, as well as the country’s economy.
G4S has signed an agreement to store, secure and deliver the devices on behalf of one of the two universities chosen to supply and install them, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
The £600,000 contract involves supplying the devices to 8,600 primary schools in 21 counties – some 365,737 devices in total. Work has already begun on delivering them to an initial 75 schools.
Already being kept in secure storage at G4S Kenya’s main hub in Nairobi, the team will distribute the laptops through its existing extensive courier services network.
“The size of our courier operation – with more than 600 vehicles and 141 offices across the country – is one of the reasons G4S was selected for this programme,” said Geoffrey Mwove, Director – Courier, G4S Kenya.
“Our team is also skilled and experienced, with around 70 per cent of our couriers having worked with us for more than seven years.”
With that experience comes knowledge of both the terrain of the country and locations of the schools, with the team having previously carried out the distribution of books to the same establishments.
Beyond its ability to handle a distribution operation of this size, the secure storage facility in the country’s capital was another factor that persuaded the university to accept the G4S bid. It is also being used to keep safe projectors, servers, teachers’ laptops and spare parts prior to delivery.
“Having a security division was a major attraction for the customer, as it wanted a supplier who could store as well as deliver these devices in a secure manner,” Geoffrey said.
“We handle 90 per cent of Kenya’s bank shipments, which gave them confidence we can handle this programme.
“Our flexibility and ability to tailor solutions were other major plus points.”
He added: “We’re delighted to be involved in such an important programme for Kenya, which will empower our young people with advanced IT knowledge and help secure the future of our country.”
The business is currently in talks regarding future opportunities, as the Kenyan government has plans to eventually extend the programme to pupils joining Grade 1 and even secondary schools.
What they say
“We are now starting on a journey that will without a doubt transform not just the education sector but the entire economy.
“When we put these devices in the hands of our children, we are securing not just their future but that of the country and look forward to being a global IT powerhouse in a few years.”
Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT
“So far we have trained 80,000 teachers across all primary schools in readiness for this massive programme. We have also ensured that each school is connected to electricity.
“This programme will revolutionise the process of learning in this country and put our children on a par with their global counterparts.”
William Ruto, Deputy President
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