Gov't set to connect 8,000 schools to Internet by the end of 2022
The government says it will have connected 8,000 schools to Internet by the end of 2022 with special needs institutions being a priority.
The ICT Authority and the State Department for Training and Skills Development will now partner with Huawei and other agencies to ensure last-mile internet connectivity from the government’s fiber optic infrastructure that runs across the country.
Speaking in Bomet during the addition of Bosto Primary School to its National Schoolnet Programme, State Department for Training and Skills Development PS Alfred Cheruiyot explained that the drive will ensure more Kenyans are connected to the internet as part of a broader policy to deliver better public services.
“For us to achieve this ambitious target, we are working with ICT Authority and Huawei to deploy appropriate technologies for schools depending on their locations and technology presence. This includes laying an additional 100,000 Km of fiber optic cable countrywide and setting up more microwave and satellite points,” said Cheruiyot.
Accompanying Cheruiyot, ICT Authority acting CEO Dr. Kipronoh Ronoh said the government's plan to bridge the national digital divide remains on course saying the Schoolnet Program and the Kenya Education Cloud are key planks in ensuring learners across the country gets quality education content consistently.
“The successful rollout of the Schoolnet program shows that the government will then be able to connect all the 18,000 government offices, 13,000 health facilities, 400 police stations, and 54 Huduma Centres to high-speed internet capacity,” he said.
He urged the community to embrace technology as a new way to tap into their talents and investments to spur economic growth.
Echoing his remarks, Dr. Sirma, a member of the ICT Authority Board of Directors, said that Bosto Primary School illustrated the model that the government is pursuing in partnership with Huawei to set up wireless microwave radio link masts in or close to the school compounds then connect these to the National Optical Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI).
“Broadly, in order to bridge the digital divide, the government aims to train 20 million citizens in the country on digital skills and roll out broadband connectivity to the rural areas under the rural digitization program. Plans are also underway to digitize rural areas and connect over 10 million homes and 24,000 businesses upcountry to the internet”, she said.
The ICT Authority, noted Dr. Sirma, will forge more partnerships with the private sector to deepen sectoral interventions that leverage technology, such as Huawei’s Tech4All program, designed to improve the quality of education, change the lives of the learners and give them the chance for a better future.