iKnowledge brings high-speed satellite broadband, digital skills training for teachers and e-Learning to Tanzanian schools.
Partners: Camara Education Tanzania, Infinity Africa, President’s Office Regional Administration & Local Government (PORALG), Tanzanian Education Authority (TEA), UK Space Agency, Universal Communication Service Access Fund (UCSAF)
In rural Tanzania, young girls face cultural and social challenges every day, often missing out on education. Additionally, some girls have to walk up to 3 hours each way to attend school, which results in them missing out on vital education as they do not have time to study before or after school. Many of the students have aspirations to become doctors, teachers, and lawyers and are anxious to continue their education. The nationwide shortage of science teachers has also had an impact on the girls’ studies.
A school in Kagera have been working towards meeting the needs of these young marginalised girls. However, due to limited resources and lack of broadband infrastructure, the girls were unable to access online educational materials required to catch up on their education.
A solution was proposed to bring high speed, reliable broadband connectivity to the schools to enable the girls to continue their studies.
The iKnowledge project, led by Avanti Communications, has deployed high speed broadband connectivity to 250 schools across Tanzania. The project provides digital skills training for teachers and educational resources that can be used in the classroom for students.
Today, the girls and their teachers can access the internet via Avanti’s HYLAS 2 Ka-band satellite, which provides 100% coverage over Tanzania. The broadband is installed and supported locally through Internet Service Provider Inﬁnity Africa, whilst the ICT hardware, digital training and educational software are delivered in partnership with Avanti Communications and Camara Education Tanzania. The programme is funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP).
Since being able to connect to the internet, the schools are now working with Tyndall University in Dublin to promote the Young Scientists Tanzania competition. The students use Skype to do joint experiments with the university and are able to communicate with other schools involved in the scheme.
Furthermore, an all-girls hostel has now been built close to the school. The hostel allows the girls to live in the dormitory, dramatically reducing the amount of time they spend travelling to and from school. This enables the girls to study in the evening, giving them more time to complete homework and with access to the internet, can now access the online educational resources.
“iKnowledge helps us communicate with teachers in the UK and learn new ideas about making our school better, like PiXL and Young Scientist”
Renatus Kirway, English teacher in a school in Rubale Secondary School, Kagera