School Connectivity in Kenya
Our school connectivity programme is a tremendous success. Thanks to DENT Wireless, who sponsored the activities, we connected 45 schools connected in Kisumu, HomaBay and Siaya in Kenya. Our local partner Africa Higher Education Research Institute, CISS Kisumu and other supporters made connectivity happen in just 3 months.
Thanks to Lameck Omondi Omolo 🌍 for creating the map and supporting us 🤎, together with our #RegionalCompetenceCentres (#RCC) and all volunteers. Have a look at the map, and hopefully, we can arrange a project to connect your school!
Kenya, as well as other African countries, are fast-growing. 1750 girls in the Bishop Okoth Mbaga Girls Secondary School, as well as all the other 27,501 students, can now access information on the Internet. When providing the girls and boys with a tablet, and explaining how to search on the Internet, their first search was …
Mount Kenya – the first search. Not an actor, singer or other amusement, the first search addressed the cultural heritage of Kenya. It was a real eye-opener for us, and a confirmation that we need to focus on empowerment and value creation. Our suggestion is to follow the model of the road: Someone has to build the road, but once it is built, pedestrians and cyclists can use the road for free. Free access to information on the Internet (“Internet Lite”) is access to text & pictures, being the pedestrians and cyclists on the Internet.
While working on the final report, we have some early takeaways:
- It’s all about teamwork and involvement. Thanks to Robert, Barrack, Kenneth, Emmanuel, Mitch, and all the other team members.
- Connecting schools is much more than making the Internet available. It’s about involving everyone
- The devil is in the detail. Though our configuration with an antenna, local network controller and school server (see products) is standard equipment, some glitches in the configuration were first visible when the team installed the devices. Example: We configured the school server, a Raspberry Pi, without a dynamic IP address. When replacing the Raspberry Pi with another one, we got an IP address conflict, and the school server was not reachable any longer.
- It’s fun! Though working hard, everyone sees the benefit of empowering “the next generation”. You will never forget the smile in the faces of young people experiencing the information that is available out there.
- We are part of the international work in empowering students at schools, with GIGAconnect by Unicef & ITU promoting school connectivity worldwide. Thanks to the common efforts we got a unique business model to work. Safaricom provided us with SIM cards using the new model of 5 Mbit/s (Mbps) for 58 USD/month, which is favourable as it has no limits on where and how to connect.
Looking forward to partnering with you for reaching the next 100.000 students to become part of the digital world. Call me at +47 9083 8066 to see what we can do together!
Leave no one behind, and Connect the Unconnected!