Internet Access Kenya
Technology companies Nokia, Safaricom have partnered with UNICEF and the ministries of Education and ICT to provide internet connection to primary schools across Kenya.

Thousands of primary school pupils in Kenya can now learn digital skills even as they explore the vast opportunities of knowledge and training provided by access to the internet.

The learners are beneficiaries of a joint effort by telco companies Safaricom and Nokia as well as UN agency, Unicef, and the ministries of Education and ICT that seeks to ‘connect the unconnected’.

The project targets rural and disadvantaged areas across Kenya and is in sync with the government’s plan to scale broadband connection to all schools by 2030.

At the moment, a total of 32,670 students in about 90 schools are benefiting from the initiative, which also supports digitization and digital literacy programmes.

“We are always looking for partnerships that allow us to use our services to deliver social impact in areas aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals. Our shared value partnership with UNICEF and Nokia allows us to connect schools in underprivileged areas and increase access to digital literacy,” noted Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

Read also: Equity half-year profit jumps record 94 per cent to Sh17.5 billion

The schools are equipped with a broadband connection, digital devices and teacher training enabling them to make better use of video communication, digital curricula and online content, thereby improving digital literacy and skills among the learners.

The schools are using Nokia’s FastMile 4G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband technology to provide reliable, high-speed connectivity delivered over Safaricom’s fourth generation (4G) network.

Further, Nokia’s meshed WiFi Beacon technology is used to boost the internet signal in selected classrooms and computer laboratories in the learning centres.

Amr K. El Leithy, SVP, Middle East and Africa Market, Nokia, said: “With remote learning becoming the prevailing issue during the Covid-19 pandemic, the topic of digital equity takes center stage again, so we are excited that this collaboration will facilitate access to many students currently unconnected.”

At the height of COVID-19 pandemic last year, millions of school going children in Kenya had to stay at home for up to nine months following school closures, effectively leaving them dependent on remote learning initiatives.

“Children have a right to access quality education wherever they are, yet for too long, the digital divide has prevented disadvantaged children from enjoying the same benefits as their connected peers,” noted Unicef Kenya country representative Maniza Zaman.

By connecting schools to the Internet–with a focus on the most disadvantaged areas–we can start to level the playing field. This allows students and teachers to gain digital skills and access the latest education materials, providing a brighter future for some of the most vulnerable children in Kenya, Unicef Kenya head added.

[email protected]

Leave a comment