Home Technology State rolls out laboratories to scale up digital literacy

State rolls out laboratories to scale up digital literacy

ICT Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo during the opening of a digital laboratory at Maseno School in Kisumu County

The Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy has embarked on the establishment of laboratories across the country to scale up digital literacy.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said the initiative targets to enhance digital literacy and skills amongst the youth and members of the public as the government moves to accelerate access to the internet through the digital superhighway project.

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A total of 23, 000 devices, he said are set to be installed in schools, universities, Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions, Vocational Training Centers (VTC), and village ICT hubs to facilitate the training.

The digital literacy programme, he said, was critical for the government to achieve its bottom-up economic transformation agenda adding that through the laboratories, the youth and other segments of the population at the bottom of the pyramid were set to benefit.

“We want our youth and the public at large to uptake digital skills so that they are relevant in the current operating environment,” he said.

Speaking during the launch of a digital laboratory at Maseno School in Kisumu County, Owalo said the move was in tandem with the government’s agenda to digitize services.

So far, he said over 6, 000 services have been digitized with additional services set to be uploaded on the E-citizen platform before the end of the year.

“As we do this we must correspondingly facilitate digital literacy amongst our youth and the Kenyan public and public sector officials to facilitate optimal uptake of the digital infrastructure we are putting in place,” he said.

The CS asked traders at the bottom of the pyramid to take advantage of the digital laboratories and training and leverage of the free public Wi-Fi being installed at various markets and bus parks across the country to venture into e-commerce.

“We are setting up a total of 25, 000 free public Wi-Fi hotspots spread equally across the country targeting segments of the society operating at the bottom of the pyramid,” he said.

He disclosed the Government’s plan of rolling out a national addressing system and digital identification cards to make e-commerce a reality.

Affordable locally assembled smart mobile phones, he added, were set to be launched in August to ensure that as many Kenyans as possible make use of the digital infrastructure installed by the government.

The devices to retail at Ksh 5, 600, he added will scale up consumption of online government services and online work.

The government, he said, has opened talks with global digital technology giants to link them with Kenyan youths for opportunities to work online.

Reporting by KNA

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