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SchoolNet Namibia


Namibia, Sub-Saharan Africa  Show on interactive map

Implementing organisation(s):





“SchoolNet (Namibia) has achieved an incredible amount. In just over five years. SchoolNet has launched an independent educational Internet Service Provider (ISP), successfully connected around 300 schools to this ISP as well as numerous other educational clients, including libraries, teacher resource centres and non-government agencies, and set up computer laboratories in these schools and in many of the other resource centres. It has also shown how these can be done in rural and disadvantaged areas where there are neither telephone lines nor connections to the power grid. SchoolNet ISP currently has some 180,000+ regular users of the internet - the nearest next commercial provider has a dial-up client base of about 11,000 users.

SchoolNet has pioneered affordable strategies and solutions for schools. Its models combine low-cost refurbished computers, free and open source operating systems, software applications and educational content, significantly discounted access to the Internet using wireless (spread-spectrum WIFI in the ISM 2.4GHz band and now in the 2.6GHz band) in remote parts of Namibia, and the offer of ICT volunteers to provide basic ICT support and training after set up and installation.

SchoolNet has become a strong voice for ICTs in schools and the education sector. Its wide contacts with key actors in the ICT and education sectors provide it with influence and leverage. Government and other actors have begun to take these issues seriously. Other similar projects are emerging.” E-mail text from Joris Komen, CEO of SchoolNet Namibia

It is abundantly clear from these powerful statements that SchoolNet Namibia has developed a model for the empowerment of students through the Internet which needs to be analysed to determine what the key success factors were. Information for the analysis was gathered during a visit to Namibia in March 2005 where the authors had the opportunity to speak to Joris Komen, SchoolNet employees and volunteers, a range of high level stakeholders and also users in rural sites in northern Namibia. The interviews were recorded and documented as the main source of information for this analysis.

The programme is a mature and developed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution for schools and has been researched from various perspectives. In keeping with the overall philosophy of the IDRC First-Mile First Inch projects in other African countries, the Outcome Mapping framework was used in this document to explore the details of the programme, to get to grips with the main aspects and to lay down a possible road map for replication in other situations.

See the summary document in the resources library:

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