ICT Authority and KPLC To Install Internet In All Public Schools.
The ICT Authority is implementing a plan to connect all public schools to the internet via Kenya Power transmission lines.
In the plan to improve learning and teaching, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Authority is collaborating with Kenya Power, the Ministry of Energy, and the Communication Authority (CA).
Kenya Power has so far provided power to over 22,000 schools.
The authority will use the same infrastructure to connect all public educational institutions to fiber.
“We estimate within two years we will have completed. The internet that comes to your school already purchased by the government will be through the Kenya Education Cloud to ensure all the content is properly vetted,” said ICT Authority acting director programmes and standards, Thomas Odhiambo.
According to Mr. Odhiambo, internet penetration will reach villages and 10 million households.
“This will blend learning and ensure we get the internet productivity that a nation can get. Internet penetration is crucial for development,” he said, emphasizing the importance of internet connectivity for digital learning growth.
He stated that the government has formed a special purpose vehicle in Fujairah with Etisalat to ensure Kenya’s connectivity.
“Fujairah is where Kenya gets its internet from. With that we will get all the internet we can ever need. There’s a submarine cable from Mombasa to Fujairah that will bring all the internet we ever need,” he said.
Mr Odhiambo stated that so far, 9,000km of fiber has reached all of Kenya’s sub-counties distributing internet. However, he claims that the 9,000km of fiber is insufficient.
So far, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Authority has distributed 1.2 million devices for the Digital Literacy Program (DLP) in 22,890 public primary schools.
He claimed that DLP was the government’s largest global effort to deliver digital devices.
Mr Odhiambo stated that the program has earned Kenya international acclaim, with many African countries, European and South American delegations setting up camp in the country to learn about the DLP.
He stated that in some Kenyan schools, Grade One students are now learning and taking tests on digital devices.
“The creativity you find in Kenya is just enormous. Nobody would have imagined this would be possible. When the internet comes to a country usually through the submarine cables it has to be distributed and this was done by the government,” said Mr Odhiambo.
He added that this fiber is used by both the government and the private sector, which uses a portion of it to provide you with services such as mobile connectivity.
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However, the acting director of programs and standards at the ICT Authority says that as Kenya transitions to blended learning and hybrid classrooms, stakeholders’ engagement and involvement is critical.
“We thought it’s just buying a laptop or tablet and taking it to school. That’s wrong! Before you take a device to school you need electrical power, a teacher, content among other stakeholders meaning Ministry of Education, that of Energy, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), parents you need everybody including parents,” said Mr Odhiambo.