E-readiness in Kenya 2013
Section 8.2 of the report has summarized all the critical issues and recommended action plans. We have focused on only 10 of the 17 indicators that were mostly in stage 3.0 and below (only two of the 17 indicators were in stage 3 and above). The researchers believe that once stage 3 has been achieved, it would be possible to achieve almost all of the benefits of ICT in teaching, learning, research and institutional efficiency.
In the following section, we classify the recommendations in Table 8-1 of the report as short-term or medium-term. Achieving stage 3 should never be considered a long-term initiative spanning more than two years. However, achieving stage 4 in all indicators could be considered a long-term initiative spanning about 5 years.
The campus ICT infrastructure recommendations identified in Table 8-1 are considered as short-term and universities should aim to implement them within one fiscal or academic year. Specifically, this should include conducting an audit of campus networks and then upgrading them.
For example, the new campus network would need to be capable of supporting two to threefold increases in devices that join the campus networks on a daily basis (i.e., assume 30% of the students would bring their own devices to campus and join the campus network.
Although a BYOD(Bring Your Own Device) policy reduces the pressure on the universities to build additional student labs, it translates to an increase in cost in terms of expanding the wireless network coverage and increased ICT support costs as the network supports a much larger number of concurrent users. Thus, BYOD should never be justified in terms of cutting down costs instead, it should be seen as providing flexible computing without relying on special university-owned computer labs. Initially, it increases the cost but then improves the learning environment and the overall university experience of the students.
Medium-term recommendations (two academic years)
Most of the indicators under networked learning are expected to take more than one fiscal or academic year to implement. Initially, there will need to be capacity building workshops to explain that accession to higher stages for the non-infrastructure e-readiness indicators.
Implementation of the recommendations will then require a review of the corporate strategic plan and the associated performance contract signed with each of the members of senior leadership. This process of reviewing the strategic plan and capacity building would likely be concluded in the first fiscal or academic year. So it is only in the second academic year that full implementation and monitoring could start. The 2015 e-readiness survey is expected to assess the implementation of both short-term and medium recommendations. The next section presents the conclusions and recommendations for future research work.