Investing in ICTs in educational institutions in developing countries:
The incorporation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the educational curriculum has been promoted as a key step in bridging the digital divide. Despite considerable growth in the numbers of computers acquired by schools in Kenya in recent years and the sacrifices made to finance these, there has been little evaluation of their effectiveness. Consequently, this research seeks to redress this by examining the impact of ICT projects in educational institutions in Kenya. Teaching staff, current students and former students together with parents of current students were surveyed. Key informants were also interviewed to establish the current policies concerning ICT in education in Kenya. An absence of educational software was found, as was the lack of Internet access and use of e-mail. Some 35-40% of secondary school teachers had never used a computer. The research revealed tangible benefits to students from exposure to ICT. It was also found that exposure to computers in schools influenced the career choices of former students. It was concluded that reform of the telecommunications sector is necessary to hasten the rollout of computer technology in educational institutions in Kenya. At school level, the key issues which arose included staff training, mainstreaming of ICT across the curriculum and provision of adequate ICT equipment.