159 schools in Kenya have so far been connected to website domains as part of a partnership between Liquid Telecom and the Kenya Network Information Centre (KeNIC).
Launched in May, the program involves registration of schools to .sc.ke domains allowing them to make better use of digital tools.
Schools so far connected are in 19 different countries including West Pokot, Nyamira, Siaya, Uasin Gishu, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Migori, Homabay, Kakamega, Narok, Busia, Kisii, Nandi, Kiambu, Turkana, Vihiga, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Kilifi.
The partnership has a goal of registering at least 2,000 schools to the domains.
It involves onboarding of school domains on Liquid Telecom’s anycast Domain Name System (DNS) for free, provision of free hosting for basic school websites and training on internet identities and domain security.
The designated Second Level Domain (SLD) for school domain names in Kenya is .sc, with .ke as the Top Level Domain (TLD).
KeNIC CEO Joel Karubiu hailed the partnership, noting that it would catalyze adoption of digital tools in Kenya’s education system.
He observed the new-found prominence of online classes and other digital learning resources since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Pandemic has heightened the need for digital adoption to improve our current education systems. The need for schools to be connected and have an online presence to be able to conduct classes has never been more important than right now.
“We aim to reach at least 2000 schools and register them on a unique identifier.sc.ke. A domain name extension for schools that will give access, enable and empower educators with the relevant digital skills to teach effectively,” he asserted.
Ben Roberts, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Liquid Telecom, observed that the domains also offered greater digital security compared to personal email accounts.
“Creating domains for the institution within Kenya’s school systems is directly addressing the changing digital landscape of this country. Not only does it set the scene for the new global digital economy, but it also allows for greater security and integration as instructors can use school domain emails instead of personal emails.
“Furthermore, the use of online collaboration tools to effectively instruct learners digitally is necessary. It enables schools with websites that serve as an essential channel to provide information and connect with the community,” he maintained.
It is expected that schools will take advantage of the free hosting to provide educational materials for learners online.