Nokia has teamed up with Safaricom, UNICEF and Kenya’s Ministries of Education and ICT, to connect close to 90 schools to the Internet in Kenya.
The initiative aims to ‘connect the unconnected’, with the ultimate goal of supporting the Kenyan Government’s plans to scale broadband connection to all schools by 2030.
The connected schools are spread across rural and informal urban settlements in Kenya, serving an estimated 32,670 students.
The schools are using Nokia’s FastMile 4G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband solution to provide reliable, high-speed connectivity delivered over Safaricom’s 4G/LTE network.
Nokia’s meshed WiFi Beacon technology is used to boost the Internet signal in selected classrooms and computer labs.
“Our shared value partnership with UNICEF and Nokia allows us to connect schools in underprivileged areas and increase access to digital literacy. This will ensure that the students there are not left behind when it comes to reaping the benefits of an ever-increasing digital society,” Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom said.
Schools equipped with a broadband connection, digital devices and teacher training will now be able to make better use of video communication, digital curricula and online content, thereby improving digital literacy and skills amongst school children.
Unicef Kenya Country Representative Maniza Zaman stated that 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.
“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,” Zaman said.
“An important belief that we hold at Nokia is the need to provide ‘broadband for all. With remote learning becoming the prevailing issue during the Covid-19 pandemic, the topic of digital equity takes centre stage again, so we are excited that this collaboration will facilitate access to many students currently unconnected,” Amr K. El Leithy, SVP, Middle East and Africa Market, Nokia said.
“This is an initiative we are very proud to be a part of and hope that it is a significant step to a brighter future for all those reaping its benefits.”