Airtel Africa reaffirmed the UNICEF that it will continue to accelerate access to quality education to millions of children in Africa, through digital learning
The company's CEO Segun Ogunsanya, who was speaking during a visit to Kitende Secondary School, Entebbe, one of the schools connected to the internet by the mobile telecommunications operator, said, "Airtel Africa is cognisant of the great value education contributes to our nations across the continent, which is why we are very deliberate in promoting education and empowering our people."
"Airtel Africa will continue to support the shared efforts of the government of Uganda, by identifying and collaborating with strategic partners like UNICEF to transform the way our children learn. We commit to do this in Uganda and across the 13 other countries where Airtel Africa operates."
While commending the government of Uganda for showing high level of commitment to the digitisation of education, Ogunsanya also recognised the pivotal role being played by UNICEF in supporting African children. He charged the students to take good advantage of the resources through the partnership between Airtel Africa and UNICEF to further their academic pursuits in order to realise their dreams in life.
Also speaking on the occasion, the state minister for primary education, Moriku Kaducu, acknowledged the positive contribution by Airtel Uganda and UNICEF in the transformation of educational opportunities for children. She pledged government to support the partnership in the form of a conducive policy framework and continuous engagements to drive down the tax rates on end-user devices and data for educational purposes.
The UNICEF representative to Uganda, Munir Safieldin, had explained that through the Kolibri digital learning platform, the partnership will reach 54,000 students with USSD/SMS based content optimised for mobile. Currently, Kolibri is available in over 100 secondary schools with computer labs and 15 youth-friendly ICT centers in refugee settlements. An estimated 16,000 learners and 350 teachers in secondary schools have interacted with the Kolibri initiative. More than 1,080 adolescents and 200 trained volunteers are involved in the out of school Kolibri initiative implementation. To-date over 7,500 registered users with over 200,000 content interactions.
Airtel Africa and UNICEF launched the US$57mn five-year partnership in 2021, to accelerate the roll-out of digital learning for children by connecting schools to the internet and ensuring free access to learning platforms in Uganda and other Airtel operating countries, to ensure that every child reaches their full potential.
In Uganda 100 schools will be connected in the first two years, with the objective of reaching 54,750 students and teachers in primary and secondary schools across the country, with a particular focus on rural schools in the West Nile and Karamoja regions.