Paratus – Giving rural schools equal opportunities

Windhoek, 15 September 2022:  On 12 September Paratus Executive Chairman, Barney Harmse, gave a presentation on the effectiveness of the EduVision program to the members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information, Communication, Technology, and Innovation.  To date, the Paratus Group has pledged over N$2 million worth of satellite equipment and infrastructure, technical support, consulting, and capital to help EduVision deliver online e-learning to more rural schools throughout Namibia. EduVision provides remote and underserved schools with access to first-class teaching via digital interactive platforms.  “Without a stable and secure internet connection, this type of e-learning is simply not possible”, explains Barney Harmse.  “Providing connectivity to schools in under-served areas is an important part of the Paratus promise to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service.”

Since 2018, Paratus has helped EduVision connect numerous schools and over 10,000 learners directly.  Indirectly, thousands of additional learners benefit from the learning materials received online.  More schools to be connected in the coming weeks are in Sesfontein, Tses, and Schlip – which are being sponsored by the Gondwana Care Trust. “Our pledge is to supply and install 50 satellite connections as EduVision signs up more and more rural schools.”

Helping to advance education through connectivity is one of the Paratus Group’s key focus areas under its Paratus Social Investments initiative (PSI).  For example, when Paratus has approval from municipalities to install fiber networks in an area, the company automatically lays fiber to any schools en route at their own cost, so that these schools and areas may take advantage of the Paratus high-quality connection infrastructure.

In 2018 EduVision, connected Tsumkwe Secondary School – which then went on to achieve some truly remarkable results only two years later.

  • Tsumkwe boosted its school rankings due to the overall improvement of its students’ results.  One student in Tsumkwe received an A+ in Biology, which was ranked the 11th best in the country.
  • Tsumkwe’s National Ranking (incl. private schools) jumped a massive 149 places, from number 183 in 2018 to number 34 in 2020.
  • In public schools, Tsumkwe’s ranking drastically shot up from number 59 in 2019 to number 14 in 2020.

One impacted learner from Waterberg Junior Secondary School said: “Comparing the pace at which we were learning then and now, Eduvision has accelerated the learning and teaching process. Moreover, Eduvision has brought improvement in our knowledge, and understanding.”

Harmse adds: “EduVision is a beacon of educational light.  It is providing online teaching not only to students but also providing the most technologically effective and efficient teaching tools and skills to schools, no matter how remote they are.  We are proud to partner with EduVision and help unlock and unlimit the potential of Namibia’s future leaders and innovators.”

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About EduVision

To date, the EduVision programme has grown to directly connect numerous schools and impact over 10,000 learners through VSAT and digitally interactive platforms, the Paratus EduVision programme connects teachers and online learners anywhere in Namibia.   Teachers in Otjiwarongo, for example, can teach real-time online classes and direct students to the interactive board on both sides of the connectivity.  So, Otjiwarongo and Tsumkwe schools may interact and solve exercises directly on the interactive boards. What is written by the teacher in Otjiwarongo, appears on the board in Tsumkwe and vice versa, and the students may then interact with the teacher in Otjiwarongo.

About Paratus

Paratus is Africa’s quality network. With an eye on the future, the group’s investment underscores its long-term commitment to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service. Paratus is managed by a passionate and professional operational team in seven African countries – Angola, Botswana, DRC, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.  The business’s extended network provides a satellite connectivity-focused service in more than 35 African countries to a magnitude of customer satellite connections across the continent.  This connects African businesses and delivers end-to-end service excellence. The group’s footprint extends beyond Africa to international (points of presence) PoPs in Europe, the UK, and the USA.

Born and bred in Africa, Paratus is thinking big as it grows its footprint to deliver Africa’s quality network and understands the unique opportunities that Africa offers businesses and individuals to break boundaries and to connect without limits.

Issued on behalf of Paratus Namibia