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iKnowledge Zeze School

iKnowledge Project brings high-speed satellite broadband, digital skills training for teachers and e-Learning to Tanzanian schools.

Region: Tanzania

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 Western Tanzania, there is a lack of network infrastructure and electricity due to a shortage of resource and investment. As a result, teachers and students at Zeze Secondary School are unable to access the most up-to-date online educational content, hindering the pupils’ learning opportunities and future employability.

In addition, with less than 25% of people in Tanzania having access to electrical power, the absence of electricity and sufficient lighting in the evening means students find it difficult to complete homework assignments and academic revisions, further affecting educational progression.

A solution was needed to bring high speed, reliable broadband connectivity to the schools, and to source and provide an inexpensive electricity solution. The iKnowledge project, led by Avanti Communications, deployed high speed broadband connectivity via satellite and provided wireless internet access to the schools involved. Students and teachers access the internet via Avanti’s HYLAS 2 Ka-band satellite, which provides 100% coverage of 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).

Through the Tanzania Development Trust, a fundraising event was run to raise funds for the procurement and installation of solar power in the school. Solar lighting is an affordable long-term renewable energy alternative available in abundance throughout large parts of Africa. Zeze Secondary School now has reliable internet connectivity, allowing students and teachers to access up-to-date educational content online, as well as being able to use the connectivity for communication via Skype with other schools worldwide.

The teachers and students have recently taken part in an international education conference that was hosted in London, remotely via Skype. Through conference, they were able to share ideas for school improvement with other schools across the world, such as Brazil and Bangladesh. Students also benefi t from the solar panels, as they provide lighting for them to study and revise for exams in the evening. “Before our satellite was installed, Zeze School was cut off by poor connectivity, but now, thanks to iKnowledge we can share ideas with schools from all over the world”
Joseph Mabuye, Headmaster, Zeze Secondary School, Kigoma
 
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