Initiative benefits schools

A JOINTLY launched initiative by Digicel Fiji and Southern Cross is expected to give dedicated direct 10Mbps internet access to the Digicel Fiji network to all students and teachers at the Kamendra School, Savusavu Secondary School and St. Bedes Secondary School in Savusavu.

The initiative – known as Project Semata – aims to provide high-speed internet access and online learning resources to the three schools. In a press release from Digicel, Savusavu Secondary School principal Rusiate Musudroka said: “We have been moving towards e-learning with the installation of interactive boards and overhead projectors for our Years 12 and 13 students and with this timely assistance of free internet, we are able to empower our students with the best in learning. Access to online resources is also helpful to our teachers in furthering the education experience”.

Project Semata will support schools in the Pacific Island communities for the next two years. Digicel Fiji chief executive officer Farid Mohammed said Digicel had pledged to keep everyone connected during the pandemic.

“We formed partnerships with the Ministry of Education to give students access to their schools’ virtual learning sites and classes and provided subsidised data plans and zero-rated data access to essential learning sites. With Project Semata, we are keeping our pledge alive, working alongside Ciena and Southern Cross to provide internet access to these schools in Savusavu,” he said.

Ciena Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific regional managing director Ivan Polizzi said Project Semata was part of the Ciena Digital Inclusion program.

He said it was designed to help close the digital divide through greater connectivity, access to technology and digital skilling. Southern Cross chief executive officer Laurie Miller said everyone had seen first-hand during the pandemic, how critical broadband connectivity was and particularly in areas such as education and learning.

“While Southern Cross NEXT is an enabler of the enormous potential for socio-economic and cross-sectoral development, it doesn’t connect directly into schools and institutions. Collaborating with Ciena and Digicel Fiji, we drive the realisation of these benefits, by enabling this high-speed connectivity to reach through to secondary school students in Savusavu.”

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