The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) in partnership with Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) are set to extend power to 300 schools located in several remote regions of the country.
The State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Mathias Harebamungu, made the disclosure, yesterday, during an interview with The New Times.
“We are working with EWSA to extend electricity to these schools through the use of solar panels to 300 schools that are located at least seven kilometres away from the national grid,” Harebamungu said.
He noted that the solar panels would be crucial in enabling the schools to use computers and ease students’ access to ICT services.
“This move is in line with the government’s policy of promoting ICT in all parts of the country as this will enable our country to achieve sustainable development in the shortest time possible,” the State Minister added.
In an interview yesterday, the deputy head of EWASA, Eng. Yusuf Uwamahoro, said that they had completed the procurement of equipment from Spain to be used in installing the panels at the selected schools.
He noted that they would begin with two schools in Bugesera and Ngoma districts as a pilot project, adding that afterward, EWASA would connect about 160 schools in various parts of the country.
“We intend to complete the whole process of extending electricity and solar panels at the 300 schools by the end of June next year and I believe we shall achieve this target on time because everything is well on track,” Eng. Uwamahoro said.
He said that the utility targets to extend electricity to at least 50 percent of all schools in the country by 2015.
EWSA will supply electricity to schools located up to seven kilometres away from the national grid using electrical cables while solar panels would connect schools beyond the range.
The project will be funded by the government in collaboration with the European Union.
Uwamahoro said that the pilot project will enable EWASA to train various local companies which will be hired to install the solar panels.