Ericsson and Free Senegal have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a proof-of-concept (PoC) project that aims to provide a digital education ecosystem for schools in Senegal.
As part of the PoC, a number of schools will be connected with Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, and will also be provided with laptops, learning content, and teacher training to support the development of the ecosystem.
The project will run as a part of Ericsson’s Connect To Learn program, a global education initiative to improve educational opportunities through technology. For many schools around the globe, including schools in Senegal, connecting to the internet, and accessing online education will be via mobile networks. Usually implemented as a solution for homes and businesses, the PoC will demonstrate how FWA, using existing mobile network infrastructure, is a cost-effective and a quickly deployed solution to connect schools.
The planned impact of the project is based on the available research that increasing access to connectivity, devices (laptops), educational content and training will lead to improvements in the quality of education, with benefits at the individual, community, and national levels. The latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Connected Learners report commissioned by Ericsson has shown that enabling new forms of learning powered by the internet and digital technologies play an important role in bridging the educational divide.
Chief Executive Officer of Free Senegal, Mamadou Mbengue, said: “Using solutions such as Fixed Wireless Access, we can help the schools, teachers, and students in very resource-limited settings in Senegal to leapfrog into the digital education ecosystem. Improved learning outcomes will lead to a wider range of higher education and career opportunities for young people across the country and will transition Senegal into a more knowledge-rich society. We look forward to a continued fruitful partnership with Ericsson and remain determined in our mission to accelerate digital development across Senegal.”
Also speaking, Vice President and Head of Customer Unit Morocco & West Africa at Ericsson, Nora Wahby explained further: “Fixed Wireless Access deployments are increasing extensively, and we are working across the globe to bridge the digital divide by offering broadband. Increased access to connectivity and digital learning resources through solutions such as Fixed Wireless Access will not only raise the quality of education but also benefit Senegal’s society at a macroeconomic level – resulting in higher standards of living, better health, and improved overall well-being. Partnering with Free Senegal for many years, we look forward to enriching our partnership by fostering a digital education ecosystem in the country. We are confident this project will positively impact the lives of students and teachers and empower digital skills development in the country.”
The partnership complements Free Senegal’s ongoing efforts to improve learning standards in Senegal’s schools to help students across the country develop their communities and increase their digital literacy. It also marks Ericsson’s latest implementation of its Connect To Learn program in Africa, enabling resource-limited schools to benefit of the latest technologies to empower learning and skills development.