iKnowledge, is a project that brings digital classrooms to schools in Tanzania, changing the lives of students and teachers across the country.
Currently, in Tanzania, over 100,000 teachers in Tanzania struggle to access up-to-date teaching materials. Also, as the class sizes are so large, teachers regularly do not have enough resources such as textbooks to share amongst the classroom.
As many schools in Tanzania are located in rural and remote areas, the schools are often beyond the reach of traditional network infrastructures such as fixed line or mobile connections. This means accessing the internet is near impossible. Additionally, schools and teachers have limited ICT equipment and often the staff do not have the knowledge or ICT training to be able to use the equipment.
This limited amount of resources and lack of training directly impacts future employment prospects for teachers as well as learning outcomes for students.
The iKnowledge project, led by Avanti Communications, has deployed high-speed satellite broadband connectivity to Tanzanian schools. The project provides ICT equipment, ICT and digital skills training for teachers. Students have access to the computer labs to learn basic ICT skills and access eLearning platforms. The schools are also provided with additional laptops for teachers and projectors, for them to access eLearning, information and educational content and use it straight in the classrooms.
Teachers and students access the satellite broadband via our HYLAS 2 satellite, which provides 100% coverage of Tanzania. Broadband is installed and supported through local Internet Service Providers (ISPs), while the ICT hardware, digital skills training, and educational content are delivered in partnership with Avanti, Camara Education Tanzania, and Discovery Learning Alliance.
iKnowledge is funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) and Avanti, supported by international and local partners, including the Tanzanian Ministry of Education, Tanzanian Education Authority, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government and Universal Communications Service Access Fund.
So far, the project has connected over 310 primary and secondary schools across 25 regions in Tanzania bridging the digital divide for up to 18,000 teachers and 216,000 students. Through satellite internet connectivity and ICT training, teachers can now access the latest educational content online and deliver it straight into classrooms. School children are now able to access computer labs and eLearning platforms, positively impacting their learning outcomes.
Recently, the project gained recognition and won the “Changing Lives” award at East Africa Com 2018. iKnowledge is paving the way, and closing the digital divide among teachers and students, enabling a connected future for all.