TEACHERS TO GET LAPTOP WITH FINANCING UNDER NEW PUBLIC-PRIVATE DEAL

Safaricom partners with Equity, Microsoft, KIE, Intel and TSC to boost e-learning

August 18, 2010...Teachers can now acquire laptops complete with broadband internet connection from Safaricom at affordable rates.

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).

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 subsidized software Office Application 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.

Microsoft together with other partners will continue to intervene in the ongoing capacity building initiatives for teachers including support services in an effort to transform education in the 21st Century, not only in Kenya, but in the region.

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 Centres 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. All laptops and broadband modems will be collected from Safaricom Retail Centres. Equity on the other hand will be responsible for the provision of personal loans to teachers to enable them acquire the laptop solution.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at Safaricom Centre, 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. At Safaricom, we are actively seeking ways to make these devices affordable to as many Kenyans as possible. 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. 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 Mr Joseph.

With massive broadband capacity available from Safaricom, the firm has all the solutions to address all customer needs whether business oriented personal or residential, he noted and invited teachers to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the offer.

Equity Bank's Chief Executive Officer Dr James Mwangi said the Bank, with branches all over the country, would avail affordable and flexible credit terms to the over 240 000 teachers under the TSC to access the laptops and hence bridge the digital divide especially in the rural areas.

Dr Mwangi said teachers in the country played a crucial role in imparting knowledge which was a key cornerstone in Kenya's economic blueprint Vision 2030.

"The teaching community is a key plank in driving a knowledge-based economy to improve national prosperity and Kenya's global competitiveness. This deal will further empower the teachers in carrying out this crucial role," Dr Mwangi said.

He noted that Equity bank had invested heavily in the education sector over the years, saying that the bank had so far spent over Ksh144 million in running the Pre-University mentorship programme started in 1998. Over 800 students have so far benefited from the program.

Each laptop purchased through this offer will be entitled to a free broadband modem loaded with monthly data usage for a minimum of 12 months or a stretched period based on the loan repayment period selected, in addition to the Kenya Institute of Education syllabus loaded on the laptop, free anti-virus and genuine Microsoft Windows applications. 

Mr. Louis Otieno, General Manager, Microsoft, East and Southern Africa said access to technology by both teachers and students is an important ingredient in accelerating the learning process, and thereby improve the quality of teaching and learning.

"Our goal is to help schools gain better access to efficient, affordable and relevant technologies to promote and improve learning, foster innovative approaches to teacher professional development and provide education leaders with the tools to envision, implement and manage education transformation in the 21st Century," said Otieno.

The ICT sector is a major contributor to Kenya's GDP, and has the potential to employ thousands of Kenyans hence contributing significantly to poverty reduction. Public-private partnerships of the type signed by Safaricom, Equity Bank, Microsoft, KIE, Intel and TSC are a key plank in achieving this aim.

Safaricom partners with Equity, Microsoft, KIE, Intel and TSC to boost e-learning

August 18, 2010...Teachers can now acquire laptops complete with broadband internet connection from Safaricom at affordable rates.

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).

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 subsidized software Office Application 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.

Microsoft together with other partners will continue to intervene in the ongoing capacity building initiatives for teachers including support services in an effort to transform education in the 21st Century, not only in Kenya, but in the region.

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 Centres 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. All laptops and broadband modems will be collected from Safaricom Retail Centres. Equity on the other hand will be responsible for the provision of personal loans to teachers to enable them acquire the laptop solution.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at Safaricom Centre, 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. At Safaricom, we are actively seeking ways to make these devices affordable to as many Kenyans as possible. 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. 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 Mr Joseph.

With massive broadband capacity available from Safaricom, the firm has all the solutions to address all customer needs whether business oriented personal or residential, he noted and invited teachers to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the offer.

Equity Bank's Chief Executive Officer Dr James Mwangi said the Bank, with branches all over the country, would avail affordable and flexible credit terms to the over 240 000 teachers under the TSC to access the laptops and hence bridge the digital divide especially in the rural areas.

Dr Mwangi said teachers in the country played a crucial role in imparting knowledge which was a key cornerstone in Kenya's economic blueprint Vision 2030.

"The teaching community is a key plank in driving a knowledge-based economy to improve national prosperity and Kenya's global competitiveness. This deal will further empower the teachers in carrying out this crucial role," Dr Mwangi said.

He noted that Equity bank had invested heavily in the education sector over the years, saying that the bank had so far spent over Ksh144 million in running the Pre-University mentorship programme started in 1998. Over 800 students have so far benefited from the program.

Each laptop purchased through this offer will be entitled to a free broadband modem loaded with monthly data usage for a minimum of 12 months or a stretched period based on the loan repayment period selected, in addition to the Kenya Institute of Education syllabus loaded on the laptop, free anti-virus and genuine Microsoft Windows applications. 

Mr. Louis Otieno, General Manager, Microsoft, East and Southern Africa said access to technology by both teachers and students is an important ingredient in accelerating the learning process, and thereby improve the quality of teaching and learning.

"Our goal is to help schools gain better access to efficient, affordable and relevant technologies to promote and improve learning, foster innovative approaches to teacher professional development and provide education leaders with the tools to envision, implement and manage education transformation in the 21st Century," said Otieno.

The ICT sector is a major contributor to Kenya's GDP, and has the potential to employ thousands of Kenyans hence contributing significantly to poverty reduction. Public-private partnerships of the type signed by Safaricom, Equity Bank, Microsoft, KIE, Intel and TSC are a key plank in achieving this aim.

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