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Govt urged to forego the laptops promise

16 April 2013, 11:53 Roggers Momata

In the Jubilee manifesto, it was stated that the government will within 100 days put in place stringent measures that would seek to ensure that all pupils joining standard one countrywide receive free solar powered laptops from the year 2014.

However, this sweet promise has continued to elicit mixed reactions from different members of the society.

A section of those interviewed on the streets term the move as a timely one while some insist that it is quite too ambitious to undertake given the current economic status of the country.

The plan is said to cost the tax payer a whooping 200 billion in total in the first year, and an equivalent amount each and every new academic year as the promise states.

The truth of the mater is that the stated amount is far-fetched as the money could be well utilized in resolving urgent needs and demands very pertinent to the local mwananchi.

Among those interviewed was Samuel Mutinda, a parent who criticized the move stating that many public schools across the nation lack some of the basic needs such as proper classrooms, sanitation as well as learning materials such as books.  

“It would prudent enough for our newly formed government to opt for a feeding program as opposed to free laptops. For class one pupils, basic needs would go a long way to ensure that learning remains uninterrupted,” said Samuel.

Similar sentiments were echoed by most of those interviewed who also urged the government to consider prioritizing basic needs, establish infrastructure in marginalised areas to boost learning among other issues.

However, many people expect the education sector to be given a boost in terms of addressing issues such as recruitment of more teachers and additional staff, improve their remuneration as well as provide vital learning materials across the country.

Though the promise of free solar-powered laptops is indeed a viable plan, more teachers would also be needed to assist in preparing the pupils to use and maintain those laptops.

It would be a wait-and-see situation to all Kenyans who hope that even as the government looks towards fulfilling its manifesto, priority would be given to the most felt needs of the people. 

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