• Sun Sep 06 2020
  • Reduce internet costs - govt told

Government needs to support students and universities to reduce the cost of internet.
Geoffrey Mutegeki
Journalist @ New vision
Government needs to support students and universities to reduce the cost of internet.

EDUCATION|INTERNET COSTS|E-LEARNING

KAMPALA - Government has been asked to consider reducing the cost of internet as institutions of learning resort to e-learning, as a way of coping with some of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In observance of the COVID-19 guidelines, such as social distance, aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, educational institutions are still closed since March 18.  

The Victoria University secretary, Mark Edwin Bamulanga, says internet costs in Uganda are high and that that is the main reason many Ugandans may not be in position to afford e-learning.

"Now is the time for Government to reduce the cost of internet so that we can deliver online lessons effectively," Bamulanga said during a press conference to announce a fresh programme of Victoria University online classes.

Recently, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) gave the university permission to roll out its emergency open distance and e-learning system during the current lockdown.

Prof John Kasenene, the vice-chancellor of Mountains of the Moon University, said apart from the high internet costs, they also face electricity shortages.

"Government needs to support students and universities to reduce the cost of internet. Many may not be able to afford data, which will affect their learning," Kasenene said.

He added that virtual learning is important in helping students to be creative online.

"If we want to reach many students, the Government and private sector, such as telecom companies, should help with data," Kasenene said.

According to a study by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Uganda has the highest internet cost charges compared to its East African counterparts.

The study put the cost of acquiring 1 gigabyte of internet in Uganda at sh9,819, compared to Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda at sh8,863, sh8,017 and sh8,017, respectively.

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