Kahawa West has had a major boost to its economy with the completion of the northern bypass (about two years ago) and the fibre cable that runs through to the KU Teaching and Referral Hospital (still under construction). This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of businesses and schools, and overall growth in its economy.
I am especially interested not only in the number of schools, but the number of schools embracing online education. They aren’t many (given the infancy of fibre technology in the country and the high costs of WiMax) but the few are worth acknowledging.
Reby Peter Memorial is one such school seeking to improve the quality of education offered by upgrading their services to include online supplementary content to assist students further in scoring better grades. The initiative is yet to take off as funding is crucial especially since the school targets the lower middle class with its attractive (relatively lower) tuition fees.
The school is one among many which are gradually adopting online education in the locality and providing it at an affordable price. This should help the local farmers, carpenters, grocers and all raise not only literate but tech-savvy kids. With that in place, we can then look at how coding can be introduced in the syllabus for those who are interested. And maybe, just maybe, Kahawa West will be home to some of Kenya’s tech.
Rome was not built in a day and so a day is not enough for Kahawa West to achieve tech status or education hub status. However, the move is a step in the right direction and with the infrastructure in place, the population will soon be receptive to diversity in learning. I believe in education for all from all, to keep Kenya competitive both regionally and globally. It is about time the government subsidized internet equipment costs and connected every primary school to the internet.
Most of what I know I learnt online (being endowed with all I needed for that), however, not every primary school kid can afford that. The community should therefore be willing to support such initiatives and petition to the government for provision of internet to all schools.
For now, donations (cash, computers, routers,..etc) can be made to the various schools providing (or planning to provide) online education to primary kids. Internet access should be a basic service, not a luxury. Let us give our brothers and sisters room to read.
The list of schools will soon be available.