Back in 2013, the Jubilee government set out to realize the laptop project as one of its key campaign pledges by advertising bids for the provision of laptops, printers and projectors for public schools. The roll out of the international competitive bidding tender for supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of computing devices came 5 months into the government’s reign giving Kenyans hopes for the project’s implementation.
The government put up tough supply conditions with bidders expected to provide Ksh228 million security fee while a Ksh14 million has been set for printers and Ksh20.4 million for projectors. In a tender competition deadline set for September 3, 2013, Olive Telecommunications was allotted the top position, as it pitched the lowest bid of Ksh 22 billion, as compared to a Ksh 23 billion proposed by US based Hewlett Packard (HP) and Ksh 24 billion by Chinese firm Haier Electricals Appliances.
Olive Telecommunications would thereafter be accused of not meeting the basic tendering requirements as stipulated by national regulations. The telecommunications company was alleged use Chinese subcontractors to manufacture their olive-branded electronic devices contrary to the tender project’s Original equipment manufacturer requirement.
Early 2014, the government cancelled Olive telecommunication’s tender in what the board chair Josephine Mong’are termed as lack of financial capability to implement the project putting the first phase to a halt. In a bidding competition that has become of court sessions and allegations, two years and a half later, Kenyan pupils still await the laptops.
However, according to the president of our republic, the laptop issuance is still on. Speaking during the 52nd Madaraka day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta said first the schools will have electricity wired in all public schools before rolling out the devices.
The electrification programme anticipated to be done before the end of this year will enable pupils to receive and make use of laptops as part of the government’s transformation programme. The project that now operates under the Ministry of Information and communications Technology in conjunction with other ministries will ensure 6,000 teachers get training on ICT.
Mr. Kenyatta cited that the implementation will commence next month through to 2016/17 financial year with 400,000 pupils expected to receive laptops this financial year.