FACT: GRN way behind on connecting schools to internet

Photo courtesy: www.britishcouncil.na

Despite claims of progress it is clear that government has stalled and will not meet targets


On 3 October 2019 state-run daily newspaper New Era published a story under the headline ’70% of govt schools without internet’.

The article states that on Tuesday, 1 October 2019, education deputy minister Anna Nghipondoka had stated in the National Assembly that about 70% of Namibian schools remained without internet access.

The report states that Nghipondoka said that there were “1 897 government schools across the country”, of which 590 schools were connected to the internet.

It was also stated …

“Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology Engel Nawatiseb announced recently in parliament that government aims to achieve 95 percent broadband coverage by 2024.”

Nawatiseb had apparently made the remarks during the tabling of the Namibian Broadband Policy and Implementation Action Plan in parliament in late September 2019.

Namibia Fact Check assessed these statements against the Namibian government’s documented development statements.

Specifically, the statements about internet connectivity rates were assessed against targets in the:

What we found was:

  • HPP (page 55) states that there will be “80 percent Broadband connections and usage to all primary and secondary schools in Namibia to allow e-learning by 2020”;
  • NDP5 (page 41) also states that “schools covered by broadband infrastructure” would be 80% by 2019/20.

NDP5 states that in 2015, 25% of schools were connected to the internet, and that the target for the 2017/18 financial year was 30% connectivity, which is where connectivity appears to have stalled.

However, despite this clear indication that the schools’ connectivity target will not be met in 2019/20, which is the last year of HPP, the HPP progress report for 2018/19, released in April 2019, states (page 55) that one of two …

“desired outcomes deemed to be making good progress” was that government was achieving “eighty percent broadband connectivity and usage to all primary and secondary schools in Namibia to facilitate e-learning by 2020”.

Despite this claim, it is clear that the Namibian government will not achieve 80% internet connectivity of schools by the end of March 2020.