A Community project providing Free WiFi Connectivity to Primary schools, Colleges and Mission schools in Savaii was launched at midday today.
At least ten (10) Primary Schools are now connected and accessing the online lessons provided by the Ministry of Education since the Covid-19 lockdown.
The Schools include:
· Patamea Primary
· Tutaga Primary
· Vaisala Primary
· Sacred Hearts Safotu Primary
· Safotu Primary
· Sasina Primary
· Saleaula Primary
· Auala Primary and
· Itu Asau College
More than 50 Primary, Colleges and Mission schools in Savai’i already have equipment installed and will be switched on and connected this week.
The Free School Wi-Fi Project is implemented by the E3 Samoa Trust, a non-profit organisation, with installation and technical expertise provided by the Samoa owned Telco Company, NetVo Samoa Limited in a partnership with the FAST political party.
The satellite-based technology is provided through a partnership between NetVo Samoa and Kacific Broadband Satellite Company. Kacific is providing satellite and Wi-Fi equipment for the project.
“The Free School Wi-Fi project is NetVo's social impact and rural community initiative,” said Togisala Tony Leota, Chief Operations Officer (COO), Netvo Samoa/Founder of E3 Samoa Trust.
“NetVo's mission and vision is to help and give back to our people through connectivity, especially in these hard and uncertain times,” he said.
It is NetVo’s first social impact and rural community initiative which includes access to digital educational platforms that NetVo will be offering for free for all schools of Samoa – this will be implemented in the months to come.
Partnership with FAST
The Wi-Fi social impact project goes back to the Measles epidemic in November 2019 when La'auli sought help for his constituency’s schools in Savaii under lockdown as connectivity had always been a problem in this area.
It was then discussions started with NetVo Samoa to find a solution to improve connectivity in underserved and remote communities in Samoa; the project was a perfect solution with the Covid-19 lockdown and the impact on student’s classroom learning.
FAST got the agreement and clearance of the School Principals and Village School Committees in Savaii and installation started in June this year.
Free Internet 0700am to 4.00pm Mondays to Fridays Under this Free School WiFi Connectivity Project, internet access is free to students and teachers between 07.00AM and 4.00PM Mondays to Fridays. The project supports online access for education and research purposes only and other sites are filtered.
The project was tested during the recent Gagaifomauga No.3. by-election coverage where connectivity was again identified as an issue in that part of Savai’i Island.
The project will commence in Apolima, Manono and Upolu Islands when Savai’i is completed. The project focuses on providing connectivity to underserved and remote communities in areas of Samoa with little to no connectivity.