Schools Connectivity Initiative
In 2014, KENET launched the Schools Connectivity Initiative (SCI) to coordinate the various commercial, educational and government organizations that were interested and willing to provide Internet access and promote the use of ICT in Kenyan schools. KENET signed a partnership agreement with the Wananchi Group Limited (WGL) and the Nairobi County Government to connect 240 Nairobi County Schools to Internet using the Wananchi home fiber infrastructure. Although this was a CSR of WGL, KENET intended to build a sustainable National School Network as envisaged in the National ICT Masterplan of 2014. This was going to be a large-scale experiment on educational content distribution, learning outcomes and schools administration.
The general objective of SCI is to improve the quality of education by transforming teaching, learning and administration of schools in Kenya by leveraging ICTs ( See SCHOOLS PROJECT CONCEPT NOTE ). ICTs and broadband Internet access have the potential to enhance the quality of education at all levels and to increase access to education. The benefits of ICT and broadband Internet in education have been well articulated in the report by the UN broadband commission working group on education. See Technology Broadband & Education, 2013.
The challenge has always been the cost of equipping educational institutions with ICT and providing affordable Internet access, particularly for the large number of schools in the country. For example, Kenya had a total 8,747 secondary schools and 29,460 primary schools in 2014 according Economic Survey 2015. The secondary schools had a total enrolment of 2.3 million students in the year 2014. The cost of providing Internet access to all the schools in Kenya would therefore be very high and it is unlikely any one operator could provide it. The SCI intends to create a platform through which public and private sectors could partner in an effort to provide scalable and sustainable ICT and Internet access to schools. The SCI model is based on a holistic approach that integrates Internet connectivity, Internet access, relevant educational content and capacity building for teachers.