The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) will spend Sh32 million equipping eight schools for the disabled with computers and Internet services.
The centres will receive free Internet connectivity for two years.
The commission will also assist people with disability to access online information by supporting a disability web portal and create awareness on the challenges affecting this group in using communication equipment.
The chairman of CCK, Mr Phillip Okundi, said there was needed to promote computer literacy for all.
“The commission is aware that not all ICT sub-sectors are moving at the same pace.
While tremendous strides have been made, there is need to lay emphasis on areas that require special attention said,” said Mr Okundi.
The CCK acknowledged that the benefiting institutions had their unique individual needs with the basic aim of bringing out the best in the students.
To ensure sustainability of the project. The CCK director -general sought to make it a core agenda for the regulator and other industry operators as part of its Universal Access Obligation for granting access to communication to all.
The beneficiaries are St Lucy Secondary School (Meru), Kibos Secondary School for the Blind (Kisumu), Thika High School for the Blind, Kuja Secondary School for the Deaf (Rongo), Rev Muhoro (Nyeri), Mombasa Secondary School for the deaf (Kisumu), Machakos Technical Training Institute.
This initiative follows other universal access programmes that the commission is undertaking.
Some of the initiatives outlined in the Universal Access Plan that are currently under implementation include the establishment of community telecentres, school-based ICT training centres, development of a GIS platform and national communication infrastructure development.
The commission is supporting the establishment of 16 school-based ICT centres, two in each of the eight provinces in the country on a pilot basis. The schools were randomly selected from areas with telecommunications network coverage.
The strategy is being employed because of the high absorption and diffusion rate of new skills and technology within the students’ age groups.
There is also in place an IT curriculum from the Ministry of Education that is to facilitate immediate take up of the training.
The centres will serve the schools and the neighbouring communities.
The commission will supply each of the selected school with a server, four computers, and a printer.
The institutions will subsequently own the ICT training centre while the commission shall be responsible for the maintenance costs for one year, effective from the launch date in May, 2007.
As part of their contribution to this project, telecommunication operators in Kenya will provide free Internet connectivity for at least 12 months.