Rural District Secondary Schools Information Network: Machakos District case study
A country that cares about her present and future growth in all socio-economic and technological aspects is a country that has a strong educational sector. The efficiency and effectiveness of such a strong educational sector is determined greatly by the rate of information dissemination between the involved stakeholders. The easy access to information and knowledge is of paramount importance in building the performance capacity of the involved parties. A well established modern ICT infrastructure acts as a mid-wife in the quick delivery of such quality services. A networked computerized information system comes in handy in the creation of an enabling environment for sharing information and other resources. The purpose of this study is mainly to recommend the way forward for a rural-based secondary schools information network. The study underlines the ICT needs, ICT readiness level, considerations and options that ought to be embraced during the design of such a rural-based school information network. The research was conducted in 16secondary schools selected from 4 divisions of a Kenyan rural district by the name, Machakos District. The Divisions were Athi-River, Machakos Central, Kangundo and Kathiani. The data was collected from the teachers, principals and the education officers manning the district. The study recommends that the existing ICT infrastructure in the four Divisions of Machakos District should be developed to at least a level of 81% since the current existence coverage level is at 68.75 %. The said ICT infrastructure refers to the fixed ; telephone (STD) services, wireless telephone networks and electric power. It further reveals that the overall positive attitude of the respondents towards the implementation of Rural District Secondary Schools information Network( RDSSIN) is at the level of 92.03 %. These findings imply that the ICT environment in those 4 Divisions are capable of supporting the piloting of RDSSIN Project, before rolling it out to other parts of the District and country at large. The study recommends the type of network designs that ought to be considered in the event of implementing RDSSIN. The study has also identified the most appropriate telecommunication services for this pilot project. Further to this, the study indicates that the absence of a National ICT Policy is causing a lot of hindrance to ICT related developments.
School ofComputing and Informatics