1 Consultant (KENYA)
2 Centres for Health and Education Programmes (KENYA)
3 Teachers Service Commission (KENYA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 1325-1330
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
The Centres for Health and Education Programmes (CHEPs) is a registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Kenya. Its goal is to empower, promote access and improve quality health and education for the benefit of under resourced individuals and communities. In the health sector CHEPs organises health/eye care screening and treatment camps, provides assistance for emergency medical and surgical care. Since 2006 it has organized 21 eye camps, screened 4441 men and women, provided spectacles to 1536 people, medicines to 2128 for various eye conditions, and performed 383 eye surgeries for cataract blind restoring their eye sight. Plans are underway for more eye camps, health centre, maternity and community health services and training of personnel in remote areas.

In the education field CHEPs sponsors and mentors under privileged students in schools and universities, supports school infrastructure and sets up libraries in slums and remote areas of the country. To date over 122 students have been sponsored, 59 of these being current beneficiaries. 38 of these are in universities in different parts of Kenya and remaining in secondary school. A library has been set up in Kawangware slum of Nairobi County and another in Jogbaru school in Wajir County. Portable solar lights were distributed to 200 students in areas without electricity. This provided opportunity for students to study at night. Plans are to continue sponsoring these students, set up more libraries, provide more solar lights to students and schools. Public schools in remote areas are challenged with lack of teachers despite high enrolment of students, few classrooms, desks and lack of communication, library and research facilities. There are plans to set up telemedicine/tele-education services to enhance health provision and education services. Challenges include inadequate funding, infrastructure, technology, trained personnel, remote locations, poor usage of technology.

Cloud computing provides an appropriate, effective, sustainable, relatively low cost solution to offset many of the above short comings. Data from remote areas can be sent in real time and feedback provided promptly. It provides easy access to a huge data resource. Distance learning services are hosted within a cloud. It serves as a virtual data storage site which can be used by management as well as provider in remote areas.
Projects planned are limited by what we assume are available resources. Cloud computing provides a resource with potential to expand and go beyond the scope of current project planning. Ideas for potential projects made possible by use of cloud computing. With this in mind, cloud computing will provide a platform where educational materials will be administered, with little emphasis placed on location. Various professionals within the CHEPs mandate in providing educational support to the less fortunate will be able to collaborate. The students themselves with appropriate training will be able to access educational materials at a click of a button.

Cloud computing provides solutions to existing challenges in health and education projects in Kenya as well as expanding their scope. The cloud has the power to drastically advance the goals of the educational system to make it easier for institutions to empower their students to succeed while at the same time cutting costs and expanding accessibility.
Education, Cloud computing, Access, Low resource areas, Tele-education.