Kenyan Ministries of Education and ICT, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Safaricom and Nokia have announced that they plan to roll out broadband internet to disadvantaged schools across the country.
Maniza Zaman, country representative of UNICEF Kenya on Tuesday said that the schools to be connected are spread across rural and informal urban settlements in Kenya, serving an estimated 32,670 students. The rollout of connectivity is part of the government initiative to scale up the broadband connection to all schools by 2030. Zaman said that by connecting disadvantaged schools to the internet, Kenya can begin the process to level the playing field because it 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 the country.
Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, said that the importance of good connectivity was highlighted during the 2020 school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic which meant that children had to rely on remote learning. Ndegwa added that the digital divide means that students who could access the internet were better placed to continue with their learning.He noted that through partnership, the company will ensure that students are not left behind when it comes to reaping the benefits of an ever-increasing digital society.