Sustainability Science

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 221–234 | Cite as

Integration and implementation of sustainable ICT-based education in developing countries: low-cost, en masse methodology in Kenya

Special Feature: Original Article Sustainability and Digitalization: A Game-Changer? Possibilities, Perils, Pathways
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Feature: Sustainability and Digitalization: A Game-Changer? Possibilities, Perils, Pathways


The quality of education in Kenya’s public elementary schools has continued to drop, which is an ironic outcome in the wake of the introduction of tuition-exempt primary education. This removal of tuition costs led to a surge in primary education enrollment that overwhelmed the existing educational infrastructure. Overcapacity in classrooms led to frustrated teachers and mediocre delivery of content amid the overstretched resources and limited education budget. To remedy this situation, the government has begun introducing various information and communication technologies (ICTs) in schools to supplement current resources. This comes with mixed results. This paper aims to demonstrate effective strategies for integrating low-cost ICT-based materials in schools in developing countries through a community of practice. Three schools were used to illustrate integration of sustainable ICT-based education in a style of classroom characteristic in developing schools. Development and use of prerecorded DVD-based content was proposed as an effective solution. A comparative study was undertaken to evaluate the differences in student comprehension and educator delivery of education involving a digital, ICT-integrated classroom and a traditional, analog-type teaching method classroom to underscore the empirical evidence of the effectiveness of introducing a low-cost ICT-based program. This study also shows that teachers are better positioned to lead the design and development of appropriate and innovative materials. Furthermore, to cope with the immense amount of materials that need developing to correspond with the curriculum, it shows that with the emergence of a community of practice of teachers, many suitable low-cost materials can be developed. This takes place through an iterative collaboration as opposed to traditional top-down approaches, which have a proven record of failure.


Information and communication technology (ICT) ICT integration Adaptive cycle Developing countries Communities of practice Sustainable approach 



We would like to thank the handling editor, Osamu Saito, the three anonymous reviewers and The Telecommunications Advancement Foundation for the funding that enabled us carry out the case study in Kenya.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PanasonicOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Ritsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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