Safaricom, UNICEF, the Kenyan Ministries of Education and ICT and Nokia have come together to connect close to 90 schools to the internet in Kenya.
Nokia says that both rural and disadvantaged urban settlements have benefitted from the initiative, which also supports digitisation and digital literacy. 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. 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.
As Nokia points out, the importance of good connectivity has been highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic. School closures in Kenya in 2020 meant that children had to stay at home for six to nine months, leaving them reliant on remote learning. The digital divide meant that students who could access the internet were better placed to continue with their learning.
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 among schoolchildren.