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ICT Authority and Huawei successfully connect Bosto Primary School to internet in launch by PS Alfred Cheruiyot ready for nationwide Schoolnet programme roll-out


The Principal Secretary, Alfred Cheruiyot in the State Department for Training and Skills Development on Tuesday launched the National Schoolnet Programme pilot at Bosto Primary School, Bomet, one of the 13 public schools in the countrywide pilot.

In his remarks, the PS said Schoolnet was taking technology to rural areas in Kenya and thus bridging the digital divide. “The School Connectivity programme will run for a period of three years targeting 8,000 schools annually. Under this phase of the programme the government intent to spur industrialization through set up of manufacturing plants [SMT] to work together with the two assembly plants already in operation.”

The PS also said that to connect schools to internet, the government will deploy appropriate technologies for schools depending on their locations and technology presence. Among the technologies to be deployed are installation of additional 100,000 Km of fiber optic cable, microwave and satellite technologies. The government will also work with other agencies and private sector so as to leverage on existing infrastructure. This includes Special Needs schools. This will enable learner’s access content, in a limitless way, from the Kenya Education Cloud. The connectivity is initially being delivered through GoK fibre infrastructure which the government has heavily invested on it across the country. This approach will ensure sustainability and security of the Schoolnet

He thanked Huawei and other agencies for collaborating with the ICT Authority to provide connectivity under the Tech4All program adding that it will go a long way in improving the quality of education, change the lives of the learners and give them the chance for a better future.

Dr. Sirma who is a Director of the ICT Authority Board said that the Authority is working towards fulfilling the government’s agenda of integrating ICT in education. She also said the Digital Literacy Programme is in sync with the new Competency Based curriculum (CBC) and that initiatives such as the Schoolnet Programme will support its realization.

Dr. Ronoh, the Ag. CEO ICT Authority, elaborated on a robust plan that the ICT Authority has put in place to roll out a nationwide internet accessibility with key special interests to specific groups of people, especially those in homes and young people in the villages.

“The Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs, through the ICT Authority has plan to connect all the 18,000 government offices, 13,000 health facilities, 400 police stations, 54 Huduma Centres and all the CIH, to high speed internet capacity. Additionally, over 5 billion government manual records will be digitize and all critical government systems will be automated and integrated to enhance service delivery”

Dr. Ronoh also said that in order to bridge on digital divide, we plan to train 20 million citizen country on digital skills and roll out broad band connectivity to the rural areas under rural digitization programme. He added that plans were underway to digitize rural areas and connect over 10 million homes to internet and connect over 24,000 rural businesses. This new initiative, Dr. Ronoh said will go a long way to transform the economy of rural areas as well as enhance innovation and growth of rural enterprises.

The Ag. CEO urged the community to embrace technology as a new way to tap into talents and investments so as to spur economic growth. He said that the area security agency has put in place measures to ensure the safety of the devices even as he called on Wananchi to report any cases where there have been thefts and break-ins.

Bosto Primary School in Bomet county is one of the 13 schools nationwide being piloted for internet connectivity that have been supported by Huawei’s DigiSchool initiative along with UNESCO. The school receives internet by use of wireless microwave radio link from a mast at Konoin DCC, which has been connected to the National Optical Fiber Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI), to another mast at the school.

Pupils in the school were taken through learning on a device introduced to schools through the Digital Literacy Program, integrated into the curriculum to spur digital learning. On DLP, a total of 6,874 schools in Rift Valley region have received digital devices.

Dr Ronoh explained that the wireless solution demonstrated at Bosto Primary School will be very helpful for reaching remote areas far from the fiber cable and appreciated Huawei for their contribution to the project, having seen that this advanced solution is able to provide high speeds even at long distances.