By Foday Moriba Conteh
In line with the vision of President Bio to promote science and technology and enable digitalized teaching and learning, the Managing Director of SALCAB, Ishmael Kebay in partnership with Africell-SL, Ministry of Basic and Secondary School Education, Freetown City Council and the Ministry of Information and Communications has on Friday 10th July, 2020 launched a nation-wide internet connectivity on 50 school buses. The launch took place at the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) situated close to PWD Junction on Blackhall Road, Kissy, Freetown.
In his statement, Managing Director of SALCAB, Ishmael Kebay, noted that SALCAB is undertaking the project in collaboration with other partners like the Freetown City Council which is in charge of coordinating the school buses ,the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Information and Communications which is SALCAB’s supervisory Ministry .He stated that his company would be providing the bandwidth for the connectivity while Africell would be providing the routers for use on the 50 school buses which would be targeted nationwide.
SALCAB’s Managing Director further noted that the Ministry of Basic Education is working on the educational contents which would be made available to pupils while the Ministry of Information would create log-in portals for pupils .He added that the connectivity would be restricted to pupils and that the internet access would not be open to the many forms of social media misuse.
While talking on the benefits of the project, Kebay stated that Freetown is a congested city and during traffic hold-ups, pupils who would be travelling to or from school would use the time to log on using their smart phones or tablets to view educational materials as the facility is going to be exclusively limited to the area of education materials.
Speaking on the internet facility and sustainability, the Managing Director said that his company had engaged Africell in technical discussions and negotiations. He assured that the mobile company would provide two routers which would aggregate the bandwidth for the pupils on the buses to avoid congestion. On the issue of sustainability, he said they had worked on a maintenance model which would be taken care of by SALCAB and Africell .He praised the Ministers of Information and Basic Education for the support.
The Sierra Leone Cable Network, through its young and dynamic Managing Director continues to make access to internet connectivity easier and impressive, and with this latest development, the Free Quality Education could be positively impacted.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper