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Internet Connectivity and Speed the Obvious Problems in TSC’s Virtual Lessons

Stakeholders have pointed out the problems they are facing in the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) live-streaming of lessons.

The program was launched to help in reducing teacher shortages in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) which are hard to staff due to factors such as insecurity and accessibility.

In the program, a principal school was taught in person while ten other satellite schools follow along virtually.

Internet connectivity was to be the first thing to be noted with buffering leading to loss of time and missing out on the content.

Several stakeholders have asked whether it is possible to have internet connectivity in the affected areas.

Even during the launch, many schools experienced issues with buffering the internet. When watching a video or listening to audio over the internet the software you use for streaming downloads a certain amount of data before playing your audio or video. This is what is called buffering.

During an interview with KT new, the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education (KUPPET) Secretary-General Akelo Misori on his part said that connectivity to the internet has been a big issue during the implementation of the program.

During the interview, Misori said that a more comprehensive internet policy should be implemented in schools.

“I am wondering if TSC mapped the challenges that connectivity will precede this programme so that as it rolled out, we are going to get feedback,” said Akelo Misori.

Besides, Misori argued that if TSC only focused on ensuring there is good internet connectivity between two counties, it would be difficult for other counties to achieve the same.

“Now they are only connecting Isiolo, Machakos and Alliance Girls…it may be just mechanical,” added Misori.

Joshua Opondo, representing CEO of ICTA said during the launch that ICTA is committed to ensuring more than 24,000 schools do not experience connectivity issues. At the moment, 13 schools have been connected to the pilot fibre network.

The launched programme with help in promoting prudent utilization of teachers amid the teacher shortages experiences in schools across the country.

TSC launched the program at Alliance Girls High School with the program being run in 12 schools with two of these being principal schools. The other ten schools will be satellite schools with each principal school serving five. For the two month exercise, only learners in Form II will be targeted.

This will mean satellite schools will have to adjust their school timetables in order to fit in with the timetable of the principal schools.

The schools will then use Microsoft Teams to attend the lessons. The TSC County Directors and Sub-County Director, curriculum support officers and ICT officers will also undergo training and incorporation into the program.

Besides the above, a team consisting of ICT, Quality Assurance staff and staffing officers will visit the schools to assess the impact of the intervention in the satellite schools as well as the principal schools.

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