CA targets high speed connection for Bungoma public secondary schools

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is set to connect 54 public secondary schools in Bungoma County to high speed Internet.

This is part of plan that will see CA link all public secondary schools in the country to broadband Internet at a cost of Ksh800 million through the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Already the Authority, through the Ministry of Education, has identified 896 schools that will be connected to the high speed Internet during the current financial year.

The Authority will support the project for four years, with 100 per cent funding in the first year, and 75% funding in the second year with the Ministry of Education financing 25 per cent.

In the third year, the Authority and the education ministry will split the costs equally at 50 per cent while CA will meet a quarter of the costs in the fourth year, with the Ministry of Education shouldering 75 per cent of the total costs.

CA Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi said the schools were selected based on their ICT readiness, with preference been given to institutions that have computer labs and offer computer studies as an examinable subject in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) examinations.

“We have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education to identify the schools. So far we have identified 896 secondary schools,” said Mr Wangusi as he addressed participants during the 12th edition of the Communications Authority of Kenya’s County ICT Consumer Forum, dubbed Kikao Kikuu, held at the Bungoma Airstrip.

“We believe this is going to be a foundation through which we will grow our capacity and also enable our young children to start developing their critical skills in ICTs,” Mr Wangusi added.

The Universal Service Fund has so far collected Ksh.4.7 billion. The Fund was established in 2009 to subsidize the cost of ICT infrastructure roll out and expansion in un-served and underserved areas.

The Fund is primarily financed through mandatory contributions by licensed operators who contribute 0.5 per cent of their gross revenue.

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said his county is very keen to work closely with the national government and its agencies such as Communications Authority of Kenya to ensure they take full advantage of ICTs and the potential it has to spur innovation. 

“The possibility of Bungoma County and by extension Kenya becoming a knowledge-based society hinges on the harnessing of ICT capabilities,” Governor Lusaka noted.

Last month the Authority announced plans to connect five secondary schools in Kwale County to broadband.

Kikao Kikuu is a County ICT Consumer forum hosted by the Authority to sensitize users of ICT services on their rights and obligations within the ICT environment. 

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