November 2020 Nairobi, Kenya: GESCI in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Kenya awarded 80 principals and their schools. The schools are Digital Schools of Distinction Status and all principals received certification for providing effective and strategic leadership in the implementation of the ADSI Programme leading their schools through a phased approach to get the e-Mature phase hence a Digital Schools.
All the schools worked on a whole-school ICT integration aspect using the GESCI ICT Integration Roadmap and Guidelines. Going through a phased approached from e-Initial, to e-Enabled, to e-Confident and finally e-Mature where schools have ICT integration policies, teachers and students using ICTs in their daily teaching and learning, functional computer labs, a digital library with learner-centred materials and use of ICTs in general school administrative activities.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Taita Taveta, Mr. Kyalo Muthisya,Taveta sub-county Quality Assurance and Standards Officer said “The GESCI team through the ADSI project prepared schools for online and remote teaching and learning. Enabling schools to handle covid-19 pandemic, something no one had foreseen.” Florence Mwang’ombe, Principal Our Lady of Perpetual Succur (OLOPS) thanked GESCI for developing schools in ICT domains to become model digital schools of distinction in the county. In particular, supporting schools and being patient with them as they grow from e-initial to e-mature, albeit challenges faced by schools.
Victoria Mulili, County Director of Education, Kiambu said “There is need for principals’ ownership in the project for sustainability as the project was headed toward completion.” Regina Opondo, Teachers Service Commission County Director Kiambu encouraged teachers to participate in e learning and teaching as that is going to be the norm during this pandemic period.She went on to ask the principals to accord Teachers to be given the necessary support to be able to appreciate the positive changes that can be brought about in the curriculum implementation by use of technology.
From Narok, John Kuyo, Principal Moi Secondary School Naikarra lauded the ADSI Programme saying it wouldn’t have come at a better time in light if the COVID19 pandemic. He said “Before the programme, we had no computers, not even a computer lab, but right now we have a fully functional computer lab with about 21 desktops and 8 laptops which are being used by students.” Margaret Mwirigi, County Director of Education Nyamira County had this to say “ Our learners in the project schools have really benefitted because teachers are able to give them work through ICTs.We are going to form clusters in the county so that ADSI schools will become champions then we can bring others on board to reach the same level.”
Charles Kapkiai, GESCI’s ADSI Project Coordinator, Taita Taveta County commended the impressive ICT and modern teaching skills development among the teachers. He said that ‘The confidence teachers display in teaching using ICT in classrooms is amazing. Most of them have been appointed to lead ICT teacher training in the county as master trainers.’
GESCI is committed to working with governments and partners to contribute towards building a Knowledge Society for All based on the principles of equal opportunities, inclusiveness, empowerment, accountability and sustainability. ADSI is implemented in partnership with Mastercard Foundation,Canada.