Tech Hubs Launched for Kenya's Primary School Students

Microsoft and other groups have teamed up to provide innovative tech hubs to Kenya's overcrowded and under-resourced state primary schools.

Posted: 09/19/2013 10:30 AM EDT

A new technology hub project was launched this week in Kenya, providing primary school students with computer and Internet access.

Funded by American technology giant Microsoft and the British council, the Badiliko project — the Kiswahili word for “change” — is comprised of eighteen digital hubs aiming to reach more than 100 schools.

Each hub contains desktop computers outfitted with Microsoft’s Encarta reference encyclopedia and other complementary benefits, including full and free Internet thanks to a three-year deal with telecom titan Bharti Airtel.

To account for the issue of overcrowded enrollment, which most of the country’s 639 state primary schools face, some stations will simultaneously serve multiple schools and sessions will adhere to a schedule.

BBC reports:

The scheme has also been launched in eight other sub-Saharan countries, establishing 127 digital hubs in total.

In recent years, Kenya has become a centre for information technology — and the government has launched a project to build a new city by 2033 intended to be an IT business hub called Konza Technology City and nicknamed "Africa's Silicon Savannah."

Our reporter says that while Kenya's many private schools have long had computers for students, the state sector struggles even to provide enough text books.

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: dpa/Landov)

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