This follows the signing of a partnership between Kenya’s leading telecoms firm, Safaricom, Equity Bank, Microsoft, Intel, Kenya Institute of Education and teachers’ main employer body, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Speaking during the signing ceremony at Safaricom Center, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said the initiative would allow teaching professionals in the middle and low- income segments of the economy to embrace technology at an affordable price.
“The cost of internet-enabled devices remains a major barrier to increasing data penetration in Kenya,” Joseph said.
“At Safaricom, we are actively seeking ways to make these devices affordable to as many Kenyans as possible.”
The partnership will see Equity Bank provide credit facilities to teachers, while Safaricom will make the acquisition of the devices, bundled with internet usage, possible through its 32-strong Safaricom Retail Centre network across Kenya.
Microsoft will provide certified and subsidised Office Application software and antivirus for the laptops.
It will further host and support Microsoft Live@edu email solution to all Kenyan teachers and provide access to Microsoft Learning Essentials.
The laptops will also come loaded with the KIE syllabuses for both primary and secondary education.
Intel will provide an application for self- training material while the TSC will create awareness about the loan among its members, and help administer the facility through a check-off system.
Interested teachers will select their laptop solution of choice from Safaricom Retail Centers based on their needs and apply for financing from any Equity Bank branch.
Once financing is confirmed, the customers will be notified to collect their laptops from the Safaricom Retail Centre.
The telecoms company is leveraging on the deal as it seeks to entrench its data services and help bridge the digital divide in Kenya.
The deal comes at time the country’s ICT sector is poised for exponential growth following the landing and activation of TEAMS and Seacom undersea cables.
Safaricom will be responsible for the quality of laptops and broadband internet connections provided as well as their distribution.
Equity will be responsible for the provision of personal loans to teachers to enable them acquire the laptop solution.
“This partnership presents a major breakthrough in this pursuit and will improve utility of the internet and the expansive data infrastructure Safaricom has put together,” Joseph said.
“We are putting internet technology in the hands of those who need it most; teachers. This will give a boost to e-learning and improve overall performance in Kenyan schools,” said Joseph.