Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) leaders Raila Odinga, James Orengo and Moses Wetangula have put more pressure on Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to use the money for his controversial laptop project to pay teachers more.
Addressing the mourners during the burial of David Nyukuri, brother-in-law to Moses Wetangula in Bungoma County, Odinga said the project should be rolled out in standard eight and not standard one as proposed.
HumanIPO reported last month Kenyatta’s government had set aside KSh17.4 billion (US$202 million) a year for the next four years for the one child, one laptop project.
“Pupils in upper primary should be given preference. Implementing the project in class one when pupils in class eight have never seen computer will be a challenge,” Odinga said.
According to CORD, the teachers strike will create difficulties for students preparing to sit their final examinations in both primary and secondary levels.
The Star reports CORD had a similar project that would have seen all public schools see computer laboratories first.
The former prime minister Odinga said the implementation of the project might not succeed without the support of teachers.
“They should first set up computer labs in all primary schools so that teachers are trained in computer before they begin teaching pupils. Most teachers are computer illiterate. How will they implement this project without ICT compliant teachers,” he said.
Chris Wamalwa, Kiminini MP, dismissed the project saying it is an initiative set to draw off public funds.
“We will be on the alert in parliament to ensure public funds are not lost through the project. We want accountability and transparency in government,” Wamalwa said.
Odinga finally asked the government not to differentiate the Jubilee strongholds from those of CORD, saying the new constitution states all Kenyans should be treated equally.
“The new constitution guards against discrimination of any ethnic community. We want to see equal representation of the communities in Kenya in government appointed,” he said.
Meanwhile, deputy president William Ruto has told off CORD leaders over his demand that the government drop the laptop project and divert the money to paying teachers.
Addressing a press conference in his office, Ruto said: “We have only allocated KSh15 billion (US$174 million) to the project and that is in the budget which is public document.
“We will digitize all learning process for class one and two before 2013. In addition to that, we will digitize all land transactions. Once this project is complete, we will have increased our revenues by about 40 per cent.”