UNICEF Zim announces initiative to increase connectivity in local schools

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
School children in classroom taking exam, teachers, eduxpert e-learning startup

UNICEF Zimbabwe and GIGA are partnering to improve internet connectivity within Zimbabwean schools.

Giga is an initiative launched in 2019 by UNICEF and the International Telecoms Union (ITU). The initiative has one goal – connecting every school to the internet and every child to information, opportunity and choice.

Giga has 4 pillars;

  1. map every school in the world,;
  2. finance a common bid that can aggregate connectivity demand;
  3. connect every school to the Internet and;
  4. empower young people with digital skills for the future.

It is about using schools to identify demand for connectivity, as well as using schools as an analogy for learning and connecting where the community can come together and support its next generation in a world where we are all increasingly digital, where the skills that are required are not formal ones, necessarily, and where learning happens continuously

GIGA website

Zimbabwe is 1 of 13 countries shortlisted to participate in Giga initiative. If effective it could solve the connectivity gap – worsened by COVID-19. Local schools have been closed for months and whilst some schools have adopted eLearning, most schools simply cannot afford this option.

Where else is GIGA being adopted?

Kazakhstan is one of the countries but closer to home, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda have made strides. These countries have already started mapping school connectivity. In addition, they are working on business models to make connectivity affordable.

It’s unclear if GIGA will figure out a sustainable model to connect schools having been formed 11 months ago. Regardless, it’s still pretty exciting having Zimbabwe be part of of the project and hopefully, the goal will be met…

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