Kenya announces supply tender for laptops in schools

laptop-knowledge without boundaries flickrThe government has reduced the bid bond to US$600,000 from US$3.4mn. (Image source: Knowledge without borders/Flickr)The Kenyan government has announced a fresh US$205mn-a-year laptop supply tender for schools, which will be open for bids from manufacturers

The three-year tender, which will cost the government US$626mn, will eliminate middlemen and directly deal with laptop manufacturers, thereby reducing cost.

“Only Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) may participate in the tendering,” the new rules said.

The rules added that only HP Commercial, Huawei PTE, Samsung Electronics, Haier Technologies, ZTE Corporation and Samsung Electronics, who all participated in the initial tendering process that was cancelled in August, will be eligible for the bidding.

The government has also reduced the bid bond to US$600,000 from US$3.4mn and the performance bond to US$1.8mn from US$35mn to increase participation.

The number of laptops to be procured in the initial tender has also been reduced to 1.28mn, the rule stated. An additional 20,537 laptops for teachers will be bought separately.

The government also plans to develop digital content, increase teachers’ capacity and build computer laboratories for classes four to eight.

In this ambitious plan, money has been set aside for the purchase of 20,637 printers and projectors, while at least 150 trainers have been selected to help the 60,000 primary school teachers in handling the laptops.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has digitised the content in seven subjects for classes one to three and is piloting it in selected schools for the roll-out early next year.

For the laptop programme to be effective, the government has so far connected 11,065 primary schools to the national power grid. Another 1,650 are due for electrification by the beginning of 2014.

 

Mwangi Mumero

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