New information technology and quality education in Kenya: the potential and problems of computers in schools
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After a description of the context and particulars of the project, this paper presents preliminary research findings on the Aga Khan Foundation Computers in Education Project in Kenya. The project, which has sought to introduce the computer as an educational tool in the study of existing school disciplines, is shown to have achieved a degree of success. Data is discussed to show that computers are enhancing student learning as an active and individualised process, as well as encouraging peer interaction. With regard to teacher education, use of the technology is reported to be resulting in the development of pedagogical constructs which place the student at the centre of the teaching-learning transaction. A number of factors which are inhibiting the innovation are discussed, with the most important being identified as the existing school system; learning within this system is shown to be dominated by centrally developed curricula and examinations which tend to encourage the memorisation of facts dictated by the teacher. It is argued that a major outcome of the project should be widely-based moves, with or without computers, to make learning a natural process whose main objective is the development of problem-solving skills. In conclusion: (1) suggestions are made with regard to ways of improving the implementation of the project and planning for the post-project period; (2) because the Kenya economy and educational institutions are increasingly acquiring computers, it is recommended that the government planning process should fully take into account the new technology.