“ITU-D projects: stories from the field”: new feature story series launched
Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Lesotho, Comoros and Sierra Leone: bridging the gap by connecting schools and communities
18-year old Miriam sits in front of a computer. “I can learn a lot of things because I can get new information from other people, what they think about that thing that I’ve been writing, and what other countries are thinking about that particular topic,” she says. She lives and studies in Dar es Salaam, the Tanzanian capital, and she is one of thousands of children across the country benefiting from new computer access through a “Connect a School, Connect a Community” project.
The “Connect a School, Connect a Community” initiative was launched by the ITU’ Telecommunication Development Bureau. Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Lesotho, Comoros and Sierra Leone are the latest recipients of regional projects of this initiative.
While ICTs have provided extraordinary opportunities to accelerate social, economic and human development, many communities around the world, especially in rural and underserved areas, still lack basic ICT access and know-how.
Through smart policies and innovative public-private partnerships, connectivity in primary and secondary schools, the “Connect a School, Connect a Community” project serves both students and the communities in which they live.
In Sri Lanka 25 school districts benefited, in Tanzania 20 schools, in Lesotho 10, in Sierra Leone 10 and in Comoros 5. Equipment, software, teacher training and internet installation was provided. In these countries the implementation of the project started between 2013 and the beginning of 2014. Ministries of Communication, Regulators, Ministries of Science and Technology and Ministries of Education, where among the partners.
Other members of the local community, in particular women and persons with disabilities where also provided with an accessible environment to learn and connect.
Miriam’s enthusiasm continues when she goes home. “My parents are gaining a lot from me using computers because when I learn I can go there and teach them this and this… I think they understand what I’m telling them!”
For more information, visit the ITU-D projects webpage.