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09.11.2013 General News

Airtel and Connect To Learn partners connect three new schools

By Myjoyonline.com
The Mayor of Accra, Dr. Alfred OkoVanderpuije; Chief Operating Officer Ericsson Ghana, Mr. Maher Maarouf; Head of Corporate Communications and External Affairs Mr. Donald Gwira during the presentation.
LISTEN NOV 9, 2013
The Mayor of Accra, Dr. Alfred OkoVanderpuije; Chief Operating Officer Ericsson Ghana, Mr. Maher Maarouf; Head of Corporate Communications and External Affairs Mr. Donald Gwira during the presentation.

Airtel is helping Connect To Learn, a global education initiative of the Earth Institute, Ericsson and Millennium Promise, to provide mobile broadband connectivity to three new schools under the authority of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in Ghana.

This is a first step in an ambitious plan to provide mobile broadband connectivity to some 50 new schools being built by AMA.

This project is part of Airtel's ongoing support for Connect To Learn   which uses Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to help improve the quality of learning in secondary education across schools in Africa.

Ericsson will provide access to its cloud-based solutions developed to support the global Connect To Learn initiative. Ericsson will also provide 3G routers as well as a minimum of 150 netbooks to be distributed among the three schools. Ericsson employees will also work hand-in-hand with teachers in the schools as part of a professional development program to improve their ability to use ICT in the classroom.

Deploying a cloud-based ICT solution in schools lowers both initial costs as well as the total cost of ownership for schools. It also significantly reduces the complexity of technology solutions for teachers and students alike. Cloud technology provides teachers with technology that is simpler to manage, so they can focus on improving the quality of education.

Andreas Karlsson, the Country Director of Ericsson Ghana says the project is part of Ericsson's long-standing support for the Millennium Development Goals.  “Ericsson continues to use its technology for good to support people as well as the public and private sectors. We believe that such support can aid African governments in achieving their Goals. Technology can enhance education, improve health and support businesses all of which will serve to reduce poverty,” says Karlsson.

For the project in Accra, Airtel will provide 3.75G internet connectivity at a subsidized rate of 50 percent. The AMA will provide each school with a secure ICT laboratory, as well as electricity.

Donald Gwira, Head of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at Airtel Ghana who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director Philip Sowah said education is a key pillar in the company's CSR initiatives so we thought it worthwhile to support Ericsson and the AMA to connect the schools to be fully ICT enabled.

“All these schools will have internet access to be powered by our award winning 3.75G network for the use of students and teachers,” he added.

Ericsson and Airtel have worked closely together for a number of years to provide internet connectivity to schools across the region.

Airtel has supported connectivity for Connect To Learn in a number of secondary schools across Africa, including schools in the Millennium Village in Bonsasso, Ghana.  This partnership supports both the Millennium VillagesProject and the Connect To Learn initiative, of which Ericsson is one founding partner. The Connect To Learn initiative has connected more than 33 schools and more than 35,000 students and their teachers with the contributions of Ericsson and other technology industry partners across sub-Saharan Africa. Connect To Learn has also provided 745 multi-year secondary school scholarships for girls to attend the schools it enables with broadband connectivity.

The Mayor was very grateful to Airtel and Ericsson for the kind gesture.  It was his wish for better education in the country and that 97,000 pupils who studied under trees now have better classrooms to study. The AMA is building 85 Millennium City Schools for the metropolis and about five of them will be commissioned soon. Therefore this support came at an opportune time.

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