Following a highly successful pilot phase in 2022 during which Huawei connected 13 schools in Kenya to the internet under its DigiSchool Connectivity, the firm has announced that it will extend the program to add more schools in 2023 to the internet in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
In phase 2 of the program, 15 girls’ and special needs schools in remote areas will be connected to the Internet using Huawei’s aerial fiber technology. It also includes the provision of video conferencing technology to the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) to support students and teachers at special education schools.
(TOP: Steven Zhang, Huawei’s Deputy CEO for Public Affairs in Kenya – far right – poses with education ministry, KISE and UNESCO officials during the kick-off of Phase 2 of the programme).
Steven Zhang, Huawei’s Deputy CEO for Public Affairs in Kenya, explained that the program was part of its global partnership with UNESCO known as Tech4ALL, a digital inclusion initiative designed to accelerate the expansion of access to technological tools for students in school environments.
“Schools close to the national fiber network will be directly connected to the fiber cable, while those that are further away will be connected using wireless technologies. In these cases, small towers are being constructed at the nearest fiber connection point and also at the schools, with Huawei’s leading point-to-point microwave solutions closer so that they can enjoy Wi-Fi speeds of 100 Mbps or more,” said Stephen.
Aligned with the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day – ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’, this phase will see the firm add 6 special needs schools to the Internet.
The DigiSchool Connectivity project is run by the Kenyan ministries of education and ICT and ICT Authority as part of the government’s Digital Literacy Programme (DLP), which aims to enhance the provision of quality education through integrating ICT in teaching, learning, and education management.
Digital Literacy is 1 of 7 core competencies for learners in basic education under Kenya’s Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). The government has provided almost all public primary schools with electricity, a projector, laptops for teachers, tablets for students, and a Content Server and Access Point that hosts digitized curriculum.