South African minister of communications Yunus Carrim has said the country is running ahead of schedule after connecting 688 schools since the implementation of the National Broadband Policy, Strategy and Plan on December 4, 2013.
“The Schools Connectivity programme has connected hundreds of schools across the country, providing them with internet access and computers or tablets,” Carrim said.
HumanIPO reported last year the Department of Communications’ (DoC) National Broadband Policy, Strategy and Plan had been approved, which it says will “contribute significantly to economic growth, development and job-creation”.
The policy seeks to provide every South African with internet access by 2020.
Carrim said the initiative to connect schools started during the 2010 World Cup and since 2009 nearly 8,500 schools had been connected.
“Connecting schools is more than just ticking the box to make sure that we have all our schools connected. For many of our children it is the first time that you will have access to a computer and the internet. This is a milestone in your lives and will change the way that you see education,” Carrim said.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) has also amended mobile operators’ licence agreements, requiring carriers to connect 2,000 schools each, starting from April 1, 2014.
“These computers at schools open up a new, huge wide world for the learners. For the educators and parents too, but ultimately this is primarily about the learners. Used properly, these computers have huge, huge potential to improve the education of learners, increase your prospects of doing well in examinations and enhancing your opportunities for jobs,” said Carrim.
Image courtesy of Shutterschock