The Government in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Huawei has launched the evaluation report for internet connectivity to schools project.
The report is aimed at assessing the impacts and lessons learned from a pilot project connecting schools to the Internet through the ICT Authority in 2021.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Dr. Belio Kipsang said the report will guide the efforts to maximize the impact on learners and teachers nationwide as the government seeks to expand internet connectivity to all schools in the country in line with the Digital Master plan and the Digital Superhighway Pillar of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda Plan.
“The report has clearly found that the internet enhances access to, and equality of, education for learners in rural areas, particularly girls and those with disabilities.
I want to thank Huawei through their TECH4ALL initiative and UNESCO for their collaboration with the government to provide sustainable internet connectivity to the government’s fiber-optic network, and for supporting this important evaluation report,” the PS said.
According to the report, 98 per cent of learners indicated that the internet met their needs, while schools reported to have saved Ksh120, 000 for mobile data bundles.
Among the findings in the report 84 per cent of learners said that the Internet makes learning more exciting, 71 per cent said it makes complex ideas easier to understand, 54 per cent said it makes learning more engaging, 23 per cent said it makes learning more fun, and 13 per cent said it increases class attendance.
At the same time, ICT Authority Director, Mr. Joshua Opondo revealed that the government has already completed a detailed plan for expanding fibre connectivity across the country with schools intended to be a primary beneficiary of the program.
“We have already connected several hospitals, universities and TVETs to our NOFBI network. This report is a clear indication that we are right to allocate resources and urgently prioritize its expansion to enhance learning in all schools,” he said.
At the event, the winners of the Digi-school Creative Competition were given awards.
The competition challenged learners to reflect on the impact of the internet on their education and then submit a drawing, essay or video, depending on their age, to express this.
31 learners were provided with tablets and smartwatches.
Amatu Primary School from Meru County won the category for outstanding school from the effort of their students and were given 3 tablets and a printer.
Also at the event was Huawei Kenya Representative Maureen Mwaniki, UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for Eastern Africa Chief for Education, Mamadou Lamine Sow and Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Secretary-General, Dr. James Njogu.
By Vostine Ratemo
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