Wananchi Group, The Kenya Education Network and The County Government of Nairobi have today embarked on a long term corporate commitment for provision of free internet in schools in an ambitious project dubbed WazED .The project which is expected to leverage on Wananchi group’s fiber infrastructure will assist the Nairobi county government in delivering information communication and technology services to an estimated 2,715 schools in Nairobi County.
Kicking off the $2 million initiative, Wananchi Group has confirmed that the project will be initially piloted for 15 months in 245 schools with the first three months being used to roll out the fibre network and the remaining twelve months as an evaluation of the progress of the project.
According to Wananachi Group Non-Executive Chairman Richard Bell said, “Kenya is the fastest growing ICT hub in the region. We want to fasten the pace and the use of ICT in education is at a particularly dynamic stage in Kenya. I strongly believe this project will go a long way towards opening up education opportunities to students as they tap into ICT to advance their skills starting from an early age”.
This move comes even as the government of Kenya launched a National Broadband Strategy that will facilitate realization of the Vision 2030 and create a “digital Kenya”. The strategy, which articulates the national ICT agenda, is seen as a catalyst for the creation of a knowledge-based economy in Kenya.
Commenting while launching the initiative at Moi Girls School Nairobi, Minister of Education Nairobi County Mr. Christopher Khaemba lauded the initiative stating that Nairobi County is keen on promoting emerging trends by implementing e-learning programmes through partnerships with the private sector to invest in telecommunication infrastructure. By deploying the free Internet program in schools we believe that we are and modernizing Kenya’s classrooms and teaching students new technologies, he said.
In addition to the free Internet, Wananchi will provide each school with a digital set top box for connection to a television for use in delivery of audio content to students. Pre-primary kindergartens will be equipped with a digital set top box and a small television.
The creation of ICT incubation centers in public universities as a measure to increase high digital literacy within the country and the laptop project and the current initiatives to digitize both the primary and secondary curriculum are some of the projects that have been highlighted as part of the efforts underway to ensure high digital literacy.