Friday, November 1, 2013

Major digital hub deal to boost education in Africa

Over half a million teachers and learners in nine countries in Sub-Africa are set to experience a step change in access to digital educational resources in their schools. British council and Bharti Airtel have joined forces to maximize the learning benefits of Bharti Airtel’s wider broadband connective of 5 GB per month in a three-year deal for 127 digital hubs located in schools across nine countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Peter Brown, country director, British council Uganda; “This latest partnership initiative with Bharti Airtel demonstrates our commitment to improving access to high-quality teaching and learning Africa.

The British council connects teachers and learners around the world, so they can learn from each other, accessing knowledge and ultimately become global citizens. It’s not always possible to make these connections face-to-face and moreover web-based connection allow for greater numbers of beneficiary and this is now a reality thanks to the partnership with Bharti Airtel and Micros. 14 fully equipped and connected computer hubs located in 10 districts benefiting tens of thousands of students, teachers and their wider community.”

The partnership with Bharti Airtel will provide full internet accessibility to British council Hubs, surrounding schools and communities. Digital hubs have already by been set up through partnerships with Microsoft in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Ghana and Nigeria. High speed broadband access from Airtel for these hubs guarantees teachers and students limitless new education opportunities.

Airtel Uganda MD Mr. V.G Somashekar, believes this initiative will empower students to be more digitally enlightened and ultimately become more competitive in today’s fast changing economy.
“In line with Airtel’s Corporate Social Responsibilities, we are very excited to be a part of this initiative and we hope through our partnership with the British Council, that this initiative will be able to connect thousands of students and teachers and will also empower the local community with IT skills that will enable them to be more digitally enlightened and ultimately become more competitive in today’s fast changing economy.”

Turyasingura N. Beatrice, Head Teacher Nakasero Primary school, said: “Many of our teachers have had a chance to access ICT skills and this has contributed to improving their interaction with fellow teachers in and outside the country. With full connectivity we hope that the child will also be able to learn and share information with peers. We are aware of the challenges such as an opportunity provides in terms of protecting the child from content that isn’t appropriate and will work with partners to ensure this is deal with.”

British Council operates a number of similar educational programs including connection classrooms, International inspiration and Badiliko to support schools across Africa. Over 400 schools in Uganda are currently benefiting from these British council programs.

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