Indian telecom firm awarded US$289mn tender to supply laptops to Kenyan schools

laptop terri o sullivan flickrThe Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has digitised content in seven subjects for classes 1 to 3, and is running this as a pilot project in select schools, for a roll-out early next year. (Image source: Terri O Sullivan/Flickr)Indian firm Olive Telecommunications Private Ltd has been awarded the US$289mn laptop supply tender by the Kenyan government, beating rivals in a schools computerisation project

Other bidders included Hewlett Packard, which quoted US$294mn and China’s Haier Electrical Limited, which bid at US$306mn. A total of 16 global companies submitted tenders to supply laptops to primary schools. Kenya’s education secretary said the Indian firm saved the taxpayer at least US$94mn.

Olive Telecommunications will supply at least 1.28mn pieces to Grade-1 pupils in 2014. An additional 20,537 laptops for teachers will be bought too. The government also plans to develop digital content, build teachers’ capacity and build computer laboratories for pupils of Classes 4 to 8. Finances have also been allocated for the purchase of 20,637 printers and projectors. At least 150 trainers will train the 60,000 primary school teachers to handle laptops.

Last December, the government announced a fresh tender to supply laptops, where only manufacturers were allowed to bid. The tender was priced at US$205mn a year.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has digitised content in seven subjects for classes 1 to 3, and is running this as a pilot project in select schools, for a roll-out early next year. To ensure the laptop programme rolls out effectively, the government has connected 11,065 primary schools to the national grid. Another 1,650 are due for electrification by the beginning of 2014.

Mwangi Mumero

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