The MTN Uganda Foundation in partnership with Fenix International Uganda is set to light up more schools in an ongoing project dubbed ‘Light up a village’ through provision and installation of solar equipment in the schools.
With an extra donation of 190 solar kits, MTN officials said, 56 schools from 24 districts will have light and power to facilitate proper learning by increasing reading time, securing the learning environment especially in the night as well as supporting teachers’ preparation for lessons.
The ‘Light up A Village’ project has so far donated over 560 solar kits across several schools in various districts in Uganda. Health centers and settlement camps have also benefited from the same project.
Implemented in partnership with Fenix International Uganda, a next-generation energy and technology company whose mission is to improve the quality of life of customers through inclusive energy, the project is in partial fulfillment of MTN’s vision of brightening lives across all the communities within which it operates.
Speaking at the handover of the kits today, The MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte noted: “With the availability of solar power, students can now have extended learning times and teachers can put in more preparation time which will at least try to level the ground with learners and teachers in urban areas that have easy access.”
He further noted that by providing solar lighting, it will provide a safe learning environment for the learners “and hopefully this will encourage enrollment.”
The project worth Shs 380 million kicked off in late 2019 and has so far seen installations of solar equipment in off-grid regions like Buvuma Island where schools and health centers were lit up to improve education and health care services in the area.
In 2019, the MTN Foundation donated and installed 100 solar kits in the Bunambutye resettlement camp in Bulambuli district while another batch of solar kits were donated to several schools in Kamuli district.
Other districts that have benefited from this project include; Apac, Pader, Adjumani, Lira, Nwoya, Yumbe in Northern Uganda, Kanungu, Kabale, Sheema, Rukungiri, Kiruhura, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kibale, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kyotera, Rakai, Luwero, Masaka as well as Bududa, Bugweri, Bukwo and Iganga.
As several learners and teachers are looking forward to having schools reopen, the acute power shortages, despite being connected to the national grid, is still one of the biggest challenges most schools face countrywide.
“This has affected performance of school children since revision time is hampered each time there is no electricity. Therefore, by providing solar lighting, learners can be able to read for longer as they recover the study time they lost in the previous year 2020. Over 45,000 learners will benefit from this project,” Wim noted.
The MTN Foundation has undertaken to support a number of government initiatives in the education sector. MTN Foundation has been building and rehabilitating schools in various parts of Uganda in partnership with PEAS.
It has also been extending ICT skills to learning institutions through setting up fully functional ICT laboratories. The Telecom has also extended computer literacy to rural schools through MTN ICT bus. The bus is fully equipped with ICT facilities with which the children and given basic ICT training.