Government takes Internet connectivity to rural schools and clinics

2019-05-01 06:01

DEPUTY Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana, led an SA connect project in Msunduzi Municipality on Monday where she visited two schools and a clinic in Edendale.

The deputy minister visited Nyonithwele Secondary School, Nyanda Primary School and Edendale Gateway Clinic where she connected free Wi-Fi and gave the two schools two laptops each for teachers to use.

The schools will use this Wi-Fi for the next 10 years without paying anything.

Kekana said this is one of the programmes that the Department of Communications normally rolls-out. She said they are working with schools and the clinics to provide Wi-Fi connectivity and cyber labs.

“We also used this opportunity to distribute televisions to both schools and clinics.

“In schools, they can stream educational programmes and in the clinic people get the opportunity to be updated on what is happening in their surroundings while they are waiting,” she said.

Kekana added that they take this as an opportunity to assist pupils and teachers to improve in their performance in schools, adding that they are targeting schools in the rural areas.

“We are saying that the fourth industrial revolution is here. The president also wants to roll out 14 million tablets in the next three years and by that time our schools should be ready with connectivity. We are deploying broadband in schools so by that time every pupil is able to get his or her tablet, the Wi-Fi is connected.”

Kekana said this in-line with president Cyril Ramaphosa’s vision to equip pupils with mobile learning tools, such as tablets, in all public schools.

“I believe that delivering internet connectivity to schools will substantially improve our countries schooling system,” she said. “Internet connectivity is essential if we want our children to succeed in education. In work and in life — education with internet connectivity is possibly the single most important factor in overcoming poverty, unemployment and inequality.”

The department and its entity Broadband Infraco has overseen the connection of 508 sites to the internet grid and a target of 713 sites is expected to be reached by the end of July.

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