" ITREALMS: Malawi offers free internet @public facilities - ITREALMS


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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Malawi offers free internet @public facilities - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

The government of Malawi has commenced roll-out of scheme to provide free internet access in all public facilities in the country, under Digital Malawi Programme, reports ITREALMS.
Malawi offers free internet @public facilities - ITREALMS
The Deutsche Welle also reported that in the city of Blantyre in southern Malawi, the lack of universal internet access created long-standing issues that could be felt everywhere, including in schools: Accessing teaching and learning materials online was a major struggle for learners at public schools.

With the latest deployment, ITREALMS gathered that things are taking a new turn as Malawian authorities decided to launch a free internet project three months ago, whereby public facilities like schools could now connect online for free, facilitating learning for students at no cost to them.

This development has left many Malawians to declare that "Online access is no longer a luxury."

"In the past, it was hard because most of the time it was difficult to [access the] internet at this school," a student at the Chichiri secondary school told Deutsche Welle, stressing that right now, they can get information through the internet.

Another student said that having free internet has improved their understanding of lessons: "There are times [when] a teacher ... might not be able to explain something clear enough, and then we go on the internet and we search those things and get wider and clearer information on that topic."

At public health facilities like the Queen Elizabeth Central, a major referral hospital in Malawi, healthcare professionals are also grateful to finally have free internet access. They say that, for example, they could now seek clarity from medical specialists abroad on how to administer new drugs and vaccines.

Mercy Banda, a nurse and midwife at the hospital, was quoted by Deutsche Welle as saying that having access to the internet has made their job a lot easier.

"It's free, and it is easy to contact specialists. In addition to that, we are also able to download medical journals for our own use," Banda said.

Additionally, ITREALMS gathered that Malawian officials said that, at least, 500 public facilities are taking part in the government initiative to connect schools, courts, police stations, prisons, hospitals, markets and other public facilities and institutions to the internet, typically using Wi-Fi.

The Digital Malawi Programme, ITREALMS further gathered is being implemented in cooperation with the World Bank, and is intended to propel digital transformation throughout the country.

Remmy Nweke with additional report by George Mhango/Deutsche Welle//DoP

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