On the 6th of March, the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS), Huawei and the Good Things Foundation partnered to bring us the Digital Literacy Summit at Huawei offices in Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya. The event was aimed at exploring the state of digital literacy in Kenya and creating solutions for making Kenya a more digitally connected country.
Organizers Of The Digital Literacy Summit;
The Speakers For The Digital Literacy Summit;
- Prof. Margaret Kobia- Cabinet Secretary , Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender
- Philip Omondi, Digital Literacy Consultant/Co –Team Lead Tunapanda Net-Internet Society Beyond The Net Project.
Topics Discussed At The Digital Literacy Summit
- Digital infrastructure and access in Kenya
- Digital skills training for Kenyan teachers
- The challenge of communicating the benefits of being online.
What Is Digital Literacy?
Nowadays, people are surrounded by different types of digital devices and need sufficient digital and information skills to operate and utilize these devices. Digital literacy refers to the skills and know-how required by citizens to function and participate fully in today’s digital society.
At the Summit, we discussed about the importance of digital skills which translate to;
- Managing Information – This is the collection and management of information from one or more sources then distribute/dispense to the
- Communicating – Sharing of Information through channels like Facebook, Skype , Twitter, Instagram.
- Transacting – this is the process of executing information, payments
- Problem Solving – This is looking for solutions and different ways of solving it.
- Creating – This is understanding and delivering the importance of communication
- Learning how to use computer or devices.
- Online Basics, Internet skills, Online safety and managing your money online.
Benefits of people knowing how to use the internet.
It leads to employment, computer literate, more connected to friends and family, able to stay independent longer and get better deals on things like electricity.
Benefits for the Government.
Faster, more efficient government, a healthier population, more skilled workforce.
Return on investment.
At the Summit,The Kenya National Library Service presented their journey on the pilot digital and social inclusion project. The Kenya National Library service and Good things Foundations entered into a partnership to pilot a project on digital and social inclusion for people in Kenya Libraries starting in June 2017.
Ten Libraries were selected to work closely with Good things foundation for the pilot phase. On the 19th and 20th of July 2017, the ten pilot libraries were called for a workshop to the Learn My Way Program at CORAT Africa where they were trained on how to use Learn My Way and how to be digital-savvy and inspiring learners. After the workshop, the Kinyambu community digital club, comprising sixteen members, was formed. Consequently, the club created the following objectives
1.To ensure that each member of the club becomes a digital champion by undertaking learn my way certificate course.
2.To ensure all form four leavers with Kinyambu community become digital champions by undertaking learn my way certificate course.
3.The Kinyambu digital club has assisted the customers by directing them on how to open email accounts and learn my way registration.
Today, Kinyambu community has 100 customers with certificates.
Benefits of Digital Literacy to The Kinyambu Community
Through the Learn My Way project, the Kinyambu club members can now;
- Use and manage their emails
- Fill online forms e.g Revise online university and college courses intake and can how to access e-learning .
- Find jobs online, manage money transfers and mobile banking.
- Before the pilot, customers used to access social media e.g Facebook,Twitter, and Youtube but now they have realized the importance of computers and are using them to to go through the Learn My Way course.
- Many of the customers who completed the Learn My Way course are now frequently going to the library to do more research, this has encouraged other members of the wider community to undertake the course.
- Idling has been discouraged because parents find it better for their youth to be in the Library.
Bridging Digital Devices- A Presentation by Tunapanda Institute
After the presentation by the Kenyan National Library Service, Philip Omondi, a digital literact consultant at Tunapanda Institute took the stage. He explained to us the various services that they offer to bridge the digital device gap among Kenyas. These services include;
- Providing online/offline educational resources
- Identifying innovation in students through bootcamps.
- Offering coding/robotics training Roboticist local representatives (REV ROBOTICS,PASCO).
- Training teaching staff in ICT for education ,Digital Literacy programs,(DLP),child online protection.
- Training ICT skills for employ-ability and entrepreneurship to youth e.g Online marketing,Social media visibility.
- Tunapanda has graduated over 100 young people in Nairobi and 28 in Turkana. 20-30% of the graduates join the team as apprentices and they become journeymen. The graduate employment rate is 70%.
- Tunapanda institute develops solutions to challenges facing education. Solutions such as the Swag software helps in addressing the scarcity of teachers as well as high bandwidth costs.
- Self Funding school.The organization and the school are funded through digital services they offer for local and international clients.
- Tunapenda NET –Education pilot. The pilot for the network focuses on increasing use of ICT for education.
- As the digital literacy gap continues to close, Legibra should continue to provide accurate and adequate information on web products to facilitate the uptake of domains and websites.
- Legibra should work closely with Tunapanda Institute to faciliate a smooth transition for the trainees to the market.