Intel Corporation has partnered with mobile phone service provider Safaricom to promote E-learning for primary and Secondary school students.
The project, dubbed, “Explore,play and learn the safe way,” targets school going children aged between nine to 18 years and aims at creating a revolutionary way of using the new technological advancement to improve education in the country.
The new technology will be streamed through the safaricom broadband system which Intel’s country manager, Omar Bajaber said will help reach every student in Kenya as it enhance the country’s economic growth prospects.
“This programme is projected to increase broadband penetration as well as providing technology tools to help boost education and lives. To drive our economy, we need to invest in broadband, education and local value added content,” he said.
According to a World Bank report, every 10 percent increase in broadband connectivity translates to an increase of 1.38 percent in economic growth.
Noting that the government has made tremendous efforts in ensuring there is an increase in broadband penetration in the country, Bajaber said providing broadband devices like 3G modems, wimax at affordable rates will enhance connectivity across the country to improve lives through an improved economy.
“Currently the penetration rate stands at about four percent which is low as compared to other countries,The government needs to ensure access to internet for all through provision of affordable broadband devices.Making broadband affordable will have positive implications for our economy,” said Bajaber.
Intel and Safaricom seeks to increase access to education, improve quality of education that equips students with knowledge and skills to keep them at per with the 21st century technological advancement. Though the educational programmes are based on the British curriculum, Intel’s country Manager said plans are underway to localise the contents to suite the country’s learning needs.
“Science and Mathematics are the only subjects available in the programme which are applicable all over the world and needs no change. Through the MoU with Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) it will make it easier for us to localise contents, ” He said.
The technology also comes with a parental control programme that enable parents to control their children from accessing explicit sites on the web. Bajaber said this will make the programme not only attractive and fun, but will also ensure parents adopt the technology to improve life while making it safe for the development of children.
“For it to be effective, it has to be fun for the young and more importantly, we want them to do that while protecting them from the dangers associated with the net,” Said Bajaber.
At the same time Safaricom’s head of customer segment, Rita Okuthe said the provision for parental control system is a great step that the company has taken towards protecting children from visiting explicit sites.
“This has been a cry from parents, however in ensuring that we provide our customers needs efficiently, we see this as great achievement for the company,” said Okuthe.
Okuthe said partnering with many institutions has been the core of success to their initiatives and will continue with the same to continue improving lives. She expressed hope that partnership will increase the penetration of broadband and the uptake of E-learning in the country.
“As the biggest investor internet infrastructure in the country, we will continue supporting efforts to make data content relevant to Kenyans needs as a way of pushing increased uptake and penetration,” said Okuthe.
The project includes a laptop of choice bundled with Safaricom data, Education content for K12, encyclopedia Britannica,British council, Free games, entertainment and business software, Intel PC basics for first time users and the family protection against inappropriate web content, McAfee.