School Laptop Project to Suffer After MPs Approve Budget Cut

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta with pupils using the Digital Literacy Programme laptops Twitter
  • MPs on Wednesday approved a Ksh 5.5 billion budget cut on the Digital Literacy Program which would see some 4,951 learning institutions miss out on laptops.

    Initially, in the 2018/2019 budget, the programme had been allocated Ksh 11.9 billion which now sees the project assigned Ksh 6.4 billion.

    This cut, as proposed by President Uhuru, would adversely affect the one-laptop-per-child idea in Jubilee’s Digital Learning Programme.

    CS Henry Rotich (L),PS Kamau Thuge (C) and CAS Nelson Gaichuhie (R) presenting the 2018/2019 fiscal budget

    So far, statistics show that about 19,000 out of a total of 23,951 public primary schools countrywide have received tablets meaning 4,951 institutions would miss out on the laptops.

    President Uhuru rode on the free laptops wave in the 2013 elections that saw his Jubilee party elected into power.

    The project, launched in May 2016, was initially meant to use laptops but then shifted to tablets in a move authorities termed as cost implications.

    In another blow to the Digital Learning Programme, National Assembly also approved slashing of funds directed towards the Rural Electrification and installation of transformers project by Ksh 1.5 billion.

    This came after members approved a Ksh 37.6 billion cut of the Ksh 3 trillion National financial blueprint.

    National Assembly

    Included in the hit are the emergency road repairs by Sh8.7 billion, the Equalization Fund by Sh3.8 billion and Sh600 million allocated for Parliament's new office block.

    Another loser was Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru’s ICT Ministry which was also hit with a Ksh 5.9 billion reduction.