Factors influencing implementation of the laptop project in public primary schools in Kenya: a case of Nairobi county
The education sector in Kenya has undergone a major transformation due to amongst other factors, changing patterns of curriculum delivery and technological innovations. One of such initiatives is the IT curriculum implementation to primary schools which is a key development pillar in line with Vision 2030. The intended introduction of laptops to primary schools in Kenya; a project embedded in the Jubilee government’s manifesto has faced various problems. This study sought to assess the factors influencing implementation of the laptop project in public primary schools in Kenya; a case of Nairobi County. The independent variables in the study include procurement procedures, financing issues, teacher’s capacity and power supply. The study assumed that all the respondents are fully aware of the laptop project and thus provided their honest perceptions. Some of the areas covered in the literature include the theoretical framework of the study, educational technology projects, and laptop project in other countries, knowledge gap and the conceptual framework. The study focused on the diffusion theory by Ryan and Gross which is a collection of a number of theories. Cross sectional descriptive design was adopted in this study. The study specifically targeted head teachers and teachers of public primary schools in Nairobi County as well as the education officials of MOE and KICD. The study adopted cluster sampling to pick the head teachers and teachers from the constituencies in Nairobi County. However, simple random sampling was used to select four respondents; one head teacher and three regular teachers; from every sampled school; giving a total of 76 teachers; while 20% of the officials population from both the MOE and the KICD formed the sample size 40 officials. The study adopted a semi-structured questionnaire for the teachers and an interview guide for the officials. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Frequency distribution tables and percentages were adopted to present the data. The relationship between the variables was tested using the Pearson’s correlation technique. From the findings, the researcher thus concluded that procurement procedures, financial constraints and teacher’s capacity had the major impact on implementation of the laptop project. Since the value of R square is less than 50%, the researcher deduced that the proportion of variation associated to the independent variables had a moderate effect. Some of the factors mentioned by the ministry and KICD officials as hindering the implementation of the process include political interference, corruption, poor oversight, procurement bottlenecks, and lack of funds, poverty, laptop security, electricity and rampant impunity. Out of the listed factors, the main cause of slow implementation of the laptop project according to most respondents was corruption and rampant impunity. An important finding is that the explanatory variables in the model result in the direct influence on the implementation of the school laptop project. Study recommends that: the government of Kenya strengthens the POA (procurement oversight authority) and KICTB (Kenya ICT Board) to come up with mitigation measures to control the external factors that interfere with procurement procedures and processes for the laptop project with a possible measure to cushion the entire laptop project from international monetary fluctuations; political control and moderation.