Since the Corona virus global pandemic was first confirmed in Kenya, over 15 million primary, secondary and university students have been sent home.
Several institutions have bee struggling to sustain online learning, especially at the tertiary level with companies such as Huawei coming to their aid with technological support.
For instance Huawei ICT Academy Kenya have collaborated with its partners for higher learning under the Learn ON program to help transition from face-to-face learning to online learning. A webinar with academic partners was held to discuss how learning institutions can join the program.
“Severe short-term disruption has been felt by families’ across the country. We have had to re-think how to educate them in these tough times. The crisis has provided an opportunity for education institutions to improve and to maximize their ICT capabilities,” Huawei said in a statement.
As part of the Learn ON program, there was Webinar for Online Higher Education that brought together UNESCO experts, university professors, and experts from Huawei’s ICT academies to discuss global best practices for mitigating the impact of the pandemic on education.
Samuel Kinuthia, Head of the Centre for Professional Certifications at Zetech University, Kenya acknowledges the support they have received from the Chinese tech giant.
“Zetech University is a Huawei-authorized ICT Academy that has integrated Huawei-certified ICT Associate Routing & Switching (HCIA R&S) into its BSc in Information Technology curricula, this was one of many courses that was affected when face-to-face learning was suspended at the university,” he says.
To create contactless online education systems for educators and students, Huawei’s Learn ON program provides high-quality resources on an open platform together with financial support to ensure education continuity. Some of the key benefits in the program include, a $5 million (approximately Ksh500 millio) Huawei ICT Academy Development Incentive Fund (ADIF), more than 100 online Train the Trainer (TTT) to be provided from April to December, and over 1500 teachers are expected to be trained. 50,000 students are expected to be trained through online self-learning, courses, and classes.
“The seminar opened up possibilities on responding to the challenges of engaging teachers and professors during this period of COVID-19 especially in Africa for learning to continue. The successful experiences shared and the commitment of Huawei to work collaboratively towards advancing digital solutions and tech4all skills give hope in building resilient education systems now and beyond COVID-19,” Said Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa.
Here in Kenya over 30 Universities in the country are authorized Huawei ICT Academy Kenya partners, with a good number adopting the online HCIA-R&S class on the Huawei Welink platform. Students are provided with data bundles to access virtual training and resources from the Huawei ICT Academy platform.
Huawei Kenya CEO Mr Stone He, said “In order to create contactless online education systems for educators and students, Huawei’s Learn ON program provides high-quality resources on an open platform together with financial support to ensure education continuity. In Kenya 10 Universities and hundreds of students have taken advantage our resources and benefitted from the program. We have provided data bundles to more than 500 students to enable online studying”.
He further added “We have also collaborated with ICTA on training DigiTalent interns in AI, Cloud Computing and Cyber Security, aiming to equip the Kenyan ICT leaders of tomorrow with latest technologies in the industry”.
DigiTalent is the brand name for the Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP), an internship program that develops the ICT talent pool in Kenya through a collaboration between the public and private sectors. It is a partnership between government, public and private sector stakeholders under the stewardship of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (MoICT) through the ICT Authority (ICTA).
“In these uncertain times it’s important that learning never stops” Concluded Stone He, Huawei Kenya CEO.