Namibia makes progress with schools’ connectivity

Namibia has set up a committee to oversee the implementation of the Giga Initiative to connect schools to the internet.

This was said by education, arts and culture executive director Sanet Steenkamp in Geneva, Switzerland, at a summit on Tuesday morning where nations made presentations on the progress made in this area in their respective countries.

The national project, however, has been affected by challenges ranging from logistics, and geography to a lack of adequate infrastructure.

“The dispersed population creates obstacles to achieving universal access to electricity and broadband internet access in remote schools.

“Infrastructure delays from the ITU are affecting project timelines, prompting efforts to expedite the analysis. Compatibility issues with outdated server systems affect the deployment and effectiveness of real-time monitoring tools (Daily Check App),” she said in her presentation.

Steenkamp called for collaboration with global partners to improve the ministry’s capacity building efforts as well as the provision of technical expertise.

Part of the healing shot to the arm of the project is the use of new technologies for data collection for effective decision making, she added.

“We need innovative approaches to overcome connectivity challenges, such as satellite internet solutions to extend digital education access to remote areas,” she said.

In the meantime, some of the Giga Initiative plans for this year comprise of mapping over 2 000 schools, deploying real-time monitoring tools and conducting financial cost calculations to optimise budget allocation for educational initiatives.

Steenkamp said they will also engage in high-level coordination to streamline implementation and maximise impact as well as securing secretariat services and funding.

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