Africa Education Watch (EduWatch) citing the cost of the five year deal for Busy Internet to provide free wi-fi to Senior High Schools and other educational institutions in the country says the government’s wi-fi program is a wasteful policy.
In a social media post sighted by AcademicWeek, Director of the Watch said ”the 5-year contract was valued at about GH¢462 million i.e. GH¢84 million for installation; GH¢6.3 million monthly internet subscription fee for 5-years.”
In the education think tank’s recent survey on the free wi-fi programme in second cycle schools it indicated about 78% of sampled (150) by June 2023 SHS did not have functioning wi-fi for periods ranging from 6 to 18 months.
“When major ISPs like Vodafone & MTN existed in Ghana, Ministry of Education GH single sourced Busy Internet Ltd to provide wi-fi internet to 717 Senior High Schools, Colleges of Education, District Education Offices and etc.
By June 2023, about 78% of sampled (150) SHSs did not have functioning wi-fi for periods ranging from 6 to 18 months. This is another story of waste, reckless procurement and poorly executed fantastic policies in Ghana’s education sector,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the Education Policy Research and Advocacy Organization (Africa Education Watch) has proposed for the Ministry of Education (MoE) to extend the free Wi-Fi coverage in Senior High Schools (SHSs) to classrooms.
In the 2023 academic year free Wi-Fi report sighted by AcademicWeek, EduWatch said the Wi-Fi coverage when extended to classrooms of second cycle schools will ensure real-time access to the internet by teachers when teaching.
The Education Policy Research Organization has also suggested that a performance audit must be commissioned by the Auditor-General into the free Wi-Fi programme to ascertain its full-scale efficiency and advise accordingly.
“MoE must strengthen the system for verifying the quality of service provided by Busy Internet Ghana Ltd., based on which payments are made for their service. This must include monthly reports from all user institutions on the functioning of their Wi-Fi facilities,” It stated.
Admitting the free Wi-fi facility has enhanced access to internet for academic research and administrative communication in Senior High Schools, EduWatch said Interventions to improve the wi-fi program efficiency are critically required.