Facebook has announced plans to partner with government of Rwanda to provide Rwandan students with access to online education experience under a project dubbed ‘SocialEdu’ via mobile phones.
The project comes as a pilot phase for the social networks’ Internet.org organizations to increase global Internet connectivity.
The project is also in collaboration with Nokia, which is also part of Internet.org as well as EDX and Airtel one of the telecommunications in Rwanda.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg said on February 24, 2014 that through SocialEDU, students in Rwanda will receive free data plans for accessing free edX programs from some of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, MIT, U.C. Berkeley, TU Delft, Australian National University and ETH Zurich.
The initiative is timely with the government’s vision to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy.
The government therefore targets to enhance human resources development, encompassing education, and ICT skills among others.
In order to become a knowledge-based economy Rwanda is committed to reaching “Universal Education for All”, which is one of the most important Millennium Development Goals.
During its initial phase the government of Rwanda will offer financial support to the project for students to purchase the smart phones, which will be made affordable by Nokia.
The government will also extend its free WiFi program to cover the country’s university campuses.
While Airtel will provide free education data for students in Rwanda who participates in the program for a year EdX will work with Facebook to create an educational app that is integrated with Facebook.