iKnowledge – Project Overview
The iKnowledge Project 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)
Schools in Tanzania are often located in undeserved areas, beyond the reach of traditional network infrastructure. Over 100,000 teachers struggle to access up-to-date teaching materials and lack sufficient ICT training, directly impacting future employment prospects for teachers and learning outcomes for students.
iKnowledge was required to bring broadband connectivity to schools, improve the quality of teaching and giving greater access to educational resources. 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.
The broadband is deployed via Avanti’s Ka-band HYLAS 2 satellite with 100% coverage of Tanzania, with local Service Provider Infinity Africa providing the service and installing the VSAT system. The ICT hardware, digital training and educational software are delivered in partnership with Avanti and Camara Education Tanzania. The project is funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Space Programme (IPSP). There have been many positive outcomes from the iKnowledge project, such as improvement in the level of digital literacy and quality of teaching in core curriculum subjects, through a sustainable training model of ‘Train the Trainer’, which has the capacity to train 5,000 teachers. The overall project will also benefit 150,000 students who now have access to the latest digital education.
Additionally, the schools involved in iKnowledge are working with Tyndall University in Dublin to promote the Young Scientists Tanzania competition, encouraging interest in science for girls. Using Skype, the students do joint experiments with the university and communicate with other schools involved in the project.
The project has also implemented community Wi-Fi hotspots, allowing community members to buy internet data packages, generating revenue that subsidises broadband access at the schools.