Rwf95m for ICT in education

The government’s efforts to promote ICT usage in all spheres of life have received a boost with international electronics firms, Samsung and Intel Corporation donating an assortment of solar-powered computers and Internet connectivity to schools in developing countries, including Rwanda.
A pupil uses a laptop.Samsung and Intel have donated solar computers to rural schools. Net photo.
A pupil uses a laptop.Samsung and Intel have donated solar computers to rural schools. Net photo.

The government’s efforts to promote ICT usage in all spheres of life have received a boost with international electronics firms, Samsung and Intel Corporation donating an assortment of solar-powered computers and Internet connectivity to schools in developing countries, including Rwanda.

The project will mainly focus on rural parts of the country, which are not connected to the national power grid.

The two technology giants announced the partnership during the just concluded Samsung Africa Forum 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa last week.

“Our partnership with Samsung will help us expand our strategic focus on education transformation in Rwanda. Intel will achieve this by providing support in professional development and finding ways to improve information communication technologies, including research and evaluation,” said Sven Beckmann, the Intel territory manager for South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

He added that their aim was to create the perfect mix for a 21st century learning environment.

 The effort is part of the Samsung’s ‘Built for Africa’ outreach that will see the electronics company develop products and programmes to meet the unique needs, resources and conditions of Africa. It also aligns with Intel’s strategic focus on enabling education transformation with the help of technology in Africa.

As such, the two companies will initially focus on ICT solutions for the education sector. Joint solutions would initially be deployed at the Samsung smart and solar-powered Internet schools throughout the continent.

“It would be designed to improve, not only the learning experience, but also the teaching experience at these schools,” the firm said in a statement.

The school facilities are estimated to cost an estimated $150,000 (Rwf95.2m).

“We have signed a number of agreements with our partners, where we will devlop content to benefit school kids in Rwanda,” said Thierry Boulanger, the director for IT Solutions and B2B at Samsung Electronics Africa.

Already Samsung has donated a solar-powered Internet school facility, which was still at the customs by press time, according to the firm.

The idea is to roll out to other areas, which will go a long way in meeting the ICT needs of the country.

“Samsung believes that one of the ways to be really effective in education is to develop solutions that move beyond just physical devices and internet connectivity. Part of the joint outreach is to empower teachers with the skills needed to effectively use smart school technology in their environment.

“There are many obstacles to overcome in Africa. Connectivity and access to information are just some of them. This is impacting on the level and quality of education many learners across the continent have access to. Given that we live in a digital age, learners need to be equipped with the necessary employable skills for the future,” Boulanger said.

This focus on training will see the companies working on solutions that enhance the capabilities of the teachers to provide for a more engaging and interactive learning environment that sees the learners benefit from innovative technology made accessible to them by receiving mentoring and guidance from the participating companies.

“As Samsung, we are excited to be working with a partner of the caliber of Intel on this and many future projects.

“Our commitment is to enhance the lives of consumers across the continent and this is one way in which we will do this,” added Boulanger.

 

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