Internet connectivity reaches 40 Mat North schools

The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Potraz) has equipped over 60 schools in Matabeleland North with computers through the School CT Lab project, with over 40 connected to the internet in an effort to enhance connectivity and bridge the digital gap.

Speaking while handing over 30 computers to Ndlovu Secondary School outside Victoria Falls as part of the project, Potraz director general Gift Machengete said more schools in the province will be connected this year.

Matabeleland North is one of the provinces with very low mobile network and internet connectivity which compromises communication and development especially also affecting pass rates in schools.

“In this province alone – we have equipped 64 schools with 1 067 computers. Countrywide, we have distributed 13 339 computers to 903 schools.

“In terms of school’s connectivity, we have connected 46 schools in Matabeleland North Province under the Connectivity of 1 300 Schools Program. An additional 134 schools from this province are set to benefit from this initiative,” said Machengete.

Additionally, POTRAZ distributed 540 computers to 6 schools in this province Under the Connect a School Connect a Community project. The project distributed 5400 computers to 60 schools countrywide.

Apart from e-learning initiatives, Potraz has been rolling out a number of other ICT access and use

projects to ensure no one and no place is left behind in the digital highway.

“I am happy to note that more schools are set to be connected and equipped with computers through the GIGA project as we collaborate with UNICEF and the ITU to accelerate the e-learning program,” he said.

Potraz has funded three shared towers and is financing the relocation of towers from co-located sites to underserved and underserved areas.

Matabeleland North has a combined total of 2 523 – 2G, 3G and LTE base
stations mounted on 450 towers.

Nationally there are 19 108 base stations mounted on 6 863 towers.

A total of 170 Community Information Centres (CICs) have been set up countrywide and a further 32 are currently under construction.

Matabeleland North has 13 CICs.

A total of 696 people have been trained in basic computer skills in this province out of a total of 11 821 people trained countrywide.

Eighty-eight health centres have been connected to the internet in the province, with 1 114 being connected countrywide.

Machengete said ICT is key in empowering the nation.

Potraz is working with various partners locally and internationally.

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