All students completing secondary school by 2008 will be required to be computer literate, according to Nepad’s computer literacy. They will be followed by primary school leavers five years later in 2012 if the New Partnership for Africa’s Development e-schools initiative succeeds.

Prof Peter Kinyanjui, the Nepad programme coordinator in Kenya, said last week the schools initiative, which would eventually serve the entire African continent, would require sufficiently trained teachers in information and communication technology (ICT).

And Education minister George Saitoti said the Government planned to conduct an ICT in-service training for 43,000 teachers during the implementation of an ICT plan to last between 2002 and 2008.

Prof Saitoti, speaking when he opened a workshop on teacher training in Nairobi, said Kenya planned to make 2,500 primary and secondary schools "ICT-ready" annually.Most of them would be reached through mobile units, he said. "The Government will facilitate the development and review of ICT curriculum at primary, secondary and tertiary levels."The Education Management Information Systems, he said, would be upgraded to enhance efficiency in the provision of education.

Prof Saitoti said 22 strategic institutions had been linked to a network through the Kenya Education Network (Kenet), a partnership between the governments of Kenya and the United States. The initiative, to come in three phases, will connect more than half of Africa’s primary and secondary schools to the Internet.

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