In an effort to bridge the digital divide in Gauteng schools, students will have FREE access to uncapped wi-fi and 3G internet connection along with 88000 tablets provided by Huawei. This form parts of the province’s e-Learning Solution. R396.2-million has been set aside for the project and all students will receive an email address and free internet access.
Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe stated that the e-Learning Solution project will replace current Gauteng Online Schools Programme. The project is expected to be rolled out early in 2014 and running when schools open next year. Evidence has shown that the Gauteng Online Schools has been a success and has improved the overall computer literacy amongst student in the province. The e-learning programme is expected to continue this trend and build upon the foundation of the Gauteng Online Schools initiative.
Nkomfe stated “Exposing our learners to e-learning techniques ought to occur at a tender age. We therefore elected an e-learning solution that could mediate meaningfully, but in a sustainable manner, while being financially viable.”
The project network connectivity will be provided by Cloudseek and Gauteng Broadband Network will administer and provide the internet connection for the 2200 Gauteng schools. The tablets will be insured against lost or damage and there will be ongoing maintenance and support for the network.
The city of Pretoria has made public it’s ambitious wi-fi target and goals and intends to provide wi-fi access to all residents over the next 3 years making it the first city in Africa to undertake such a project.
The e-learning project will focus on providing poorer communities a priority in partnership with non-profit wi-fi movement Project Isizwe. Five areas in the city will have access to free internet access and wi-fi by November this year. These locations include:
- the Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus
- the University of Pretoria’s Hatfield campus
- Tshwane North College
- the Mamelodi Community Centre
- Church Square in the central business district
The initial cost of the project is estimated to be roughly R1-million. In addition, more than 200 schools in Soshanguve, Mamelodi and Atteridgeville areas will receive free wi-fi and and internet access next year and finally in 2016 the project will be rolled out to all other government institutions and areas in the city.
Individuals will be able to access the internet without having to sign up for any contracts or login details with a fair-use agreement. Individual will be able to download a mximimim of 250 MB a day at a speed of 1 megabyte a second.