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Nokia Partners with Safaricom, UNICEF to Provide Internet Connectivity to Schools in Disadvantaged Areas

Safaricom Foundation Donates Infrastructure to Schools in Turkana

From left, class 8 students Rebecca Nakusi, Faith Aoroo and Deborah Lodan during the handover of desks worth KES 100,000 at Katilu mixed Primary School courtesy of the Safaricom Foundation’s Ndoto Zetu initiative. (Photo Courtesy)

Telecommunications firm, Nokia, has partnered with multile stakeholders to provide internet to rural schools in Kenya. Nokia has come together with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of ICT, Safaricom and UNICEF to connect close to 90 schools to the internet.

The project will benefit schools in rural areas and disadvantaged urban settlements. The plan to “connect the unconnected” will also support digitization and digital literacy which is a part of the government’s plan to connect all schools to the internet by 2030.

Safaricom’s 4G/LTE network will deliver Nokia’s FastMile 4G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband solution for high-speed connectivity to over 32,670 students in the schools.

Nokia will use its meshed WiFi Beacon technology to boost the Internet signal in selected classrooms and computer labs.

Read: Gov’t Seeking Funds to Revive Digital Literacy Program

Internet connectivity has become a necessity for schools especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools adapted to online studies and urban schools which were already connected transitioned easily and were able to continue with their syllabus.

However, students from schools in rural and disadvantaged areas had to contend with more unfavourable options such as waiting for schools to reopen or buying expensive bundles.

Once connected and equipped with devices and trained teachers, students from these schools can benefit from video conferencing and access to digital content.

“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.” UNICEF Kenya Country Representative Maniza Zaman said.

“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.”

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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