The pandemic continues to showcase disparity between learning institutions in rural and urban centres, and how those in underdeveloped regions have been at a disadvantage.
The case of remote learning has also made sense over the same period, and while the government has made attempts to alleviate the constraints associated with online learning, the country is far from making notable strides in the same area.
To this end, Finnish tech company Nokia has announced that it will help connect up to 90 primary schools.
Nokia, which has vast experience in the telecoms field, will complete the project together with other stakeholders, including Safaricom, UNICEF and Kenya’s ICT and Education ministries.
As said, the project will target rural and disadvantaged urban settlements. It looks forward to ‘connect the unconnected,’ a similar tag line that was also the aim of the now discontinued, and once government-backed Google Loon by Telkom Kenya.
Also, the ultimate goal of supporting the Kenyan Government’s plans to scale broadband connection to all schools by 2030.
According to a statement from Nokia, the connected schools are spread across rural and informal urban settlements in Kenya, serving an estimated 32,670 students.
The institutions will be using Nokia’s FastMile 4G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband solution to provide reliable, high-speed connectivity delivered over Safaricom’s 4G/LTE network.
Also, Nokia’s meshed WiFi Beacon technology is used to boost the Internet signal in selected classrooms and computer labs.
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.
As part of our Transforming Lives purpose and vision to become a purpose-led technology company, we are always looking for partnerships that allow us to use our services to deliver social impact in areas aligned with 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. – Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom
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