Chinese technology firm, Huawei, says it will expand its DigiTruck programme to five additional countries following the success of the pilot in Kenya.
Huawei plans to replicate the program in France, the Philippines and three other countries in the next two years.
The programme, DigiTruck project, was launched in September 2019 provides digital skills training to rural and remote communities in Kenya through mobile digital classrooms converted from truck containers.
According to Hu, digital technology plays an important role in education. However, 50 percent of the world’s population still does not have Internet access, and many people lack the skills needed to use digital devices. As a result, the digital divide in education continues to widen.
“As a technology company, Huawei wants to help with connectivity, applications, and skills by focusing on two important areas of connecting schools and developing digital skills respectively,” said Huawei’s deputy chairman Ken Hu in a webinar.
The webinar was joined by leaders and experts from UNESCO, GSMA, the Ministry of National Education of Senegal, universities and educational institutions, as well as the private sector.
In Kenya, in the all solar-powered, mobile classrooms with wireless broadband access that can reach even the most remote communities, participants learn how to use computers and office software, how to use the internet to find and do work online, how to learn and develop their careers online, how to buy and sell their goods online, and how to be safe online.
Stone He, Huawei Kenya chief executive officer said the digital skills that the DigiTruck helped provide before the COVID-19 pandemic struck have never been more necessary now that even more of life and work is necessarily happening online.
“As Kenya’s digital transformation gathers pace, it is critical that every single Kenyan is prepared for this, and our research has shown that digital skills are currently a very significant challenge for many. We thank our partners in Kenya who have enabled Huawei’s first DigiTruck to be so successful that now Huawei is going to scale up our support to other countries,” He said.
The DigiTruck in Kenya is operated by Computers for Schools Kenya and works together with the Ministry of ICT’s Ajira initiative, Safaricom’s Blaze initiative, UNESCO and other partners.