Airtel, Unicef partner in digital learning project

Airtel Kenya Vice President Emeka Oparah with UNICEF Senior Advisor Public-private partnership Jelena Jovanovic and ICT manager Keith Chibafa listen to grade 6 pupil Courtney Kendall at Ngei Primary school during the launch of a partnership to scale-up digital learning. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Multinational telcoms operator Airtel and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) have joined forces to roll out an Africa-wide digital learning initiative targetting 30 primary schools.

Airtel Kenya Managing Director, Ashish Malhotra, said the fiver-year programme is structured to offer the targeted schools at least 300 Gigabytes (GB) of data, with up to 50Mbps in speed every month, to meet their education and research needs.

"We are starting with 30 schools in Kenya as we plan to have many schools across Africa to help the students stay connected and access the most important thing in life, which is education," said Mr Malhotra. The MD was speaking while officiating the launch of the programme at Ngei Primary School in Lang'ata on Thursday.

Unicef Kenya Innovation Manager, Charles Otine, said the child fund would provide invaluable support, both immediately and in the long run, to the children enrolled in the programme.

"Our role is looking at how we can support the government with teacher training. It is not just connecting the schools. At the same time, we look at helping learners access the relevant digital content," said Mr Otine.

Sub-county Education Director Daisy Kurere called on the school community to take advantage of the growing number of IT resources being deployed in the school.

"As a Ministry, we are happy because having internet access in school assists us in the achievement of our new curriculum objectives."

Ngei Primary School Head, Mary Macharia, welcomed the digital learning initiative, adding that the school had a lot to gain from the deployed resources.

"Through our benefactors Unicef and Airtel, we shall enjoy learning through as many educational platforms as possible and also give our learners exposure to the opportunities that the internet offers," she said.