Nokia and the Finnish National Committee for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UNICEF Kenya have launched a shared-value partnership during this year's Nairobi Innovation Week, to increase equitable access to digital literacy for some of the most disadvantaged children in Kenya. This includes girls and children with disabilities in urban informal settlements and some of the most remote areas of Kenya.
"Children are the leaders of the future, so we are excited to work with UNICEF and the Government to connect schools in remote areas to inspire tomorrow's leaders in Kenya. We are committed to using our technologies to meet the goals of sustainable development worldwide,” said Joachim Wuilmet, Nokia's head of Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa.
The partnership between Nokia and UNICEF Kenya brings together stakeholders from the Government of Kenya's Ministries of Education and ICT, as well as the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), children, teachers, content providers and mobile network operators in Kenya, to address challenges and unlock opportunities for digital learning and literacy.
“We are proud to have contributed to the development of the first Accessible Digital Textbook with support from the UNICEF Innovation Fund and Nokia. This is a major step in furthering inclusive education through innovative technology for children in Kenya and beyond," Maniza Zaman, Representative of UNICEF in Kenya said.
As an initial step, the Accessible Digital Textbook with special features for children, with hearing, visual and intellectual disabilities, has successfully been piloted in schools during the first quarter of 2019 and will be launched by the Government of Kenya later this month.
"With technical and financial support provided by UNICEF and active participation of children with disabilities, KICD has successfully produced the first accessible digital textbook for children in Grade 1, contributing to equitable access to digital literacy. This textbook provides quality digital content for children with disabilities on the Digital Literacy Project devices,” Dr. Julius Jwan, CEO of KICD said.
Scaling-up of internet connectivity in schools is planned to allow students to access quality digital learning materials that are aligned to the new competency-based curriculum and approved by the Government of Kenya.