Audit free Wi-Fi programme - Eduwatch to Auditor-General
An advocacy organisation, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), has charged the Auditor-General to commission a full- scale performance audit into the free Wi-Fi programme in senior high schools to ascertain efficiency.
Moreover, it said the audit should be carried out to advise the Ministry of Education accordingly.
It said the Ministry of Education must also strengthen the system for verifying the quality of service provided by the service providers based on which payments were made.
“This must include monthly reports from all user institutions on the functioning of their Wi-Fi facilities. Secondly, efforts must be made to extend the Wi-Fi coverage to classrooms. This will ensure real-time access to internet by teachers when teaching,” it said.
This was contained in the Policy Brief of the organisation to review the programme’s efficiency under the government’s free Wi-Fi for Senior High Schools (SHS) intervention.
It identifies crucial quality deficits in quality assurance and monitoring under the programme as major contributors to spending inefficiency, and makes recommendations for enhanced performance monitoring, service quality improvement, accountability and programme efficiency.
It said a May-June 2023 rapid survey of 150 SHSs with a response rate of 92 per cent (138) SHSs revealed that about 78 per cent of SHSs did not have functioning Wi-Fi and that “only 22 per cent of SHSs had functioning Wi-Fi”.
“Of the SHSs without functioning Wi-Fi, 55 per cent had experienced downtime for about a year. Of the SHSs without functioning Wi-Fi, 36 per cent had experienced downtime for about 6 months.
“Of the SHSs without functioning Wi-Fi, 9 per cent had experienced downtime for about 2 years,” it said.
The brief said free Wi-Fi, where available and accessible, facilitated research, administrative communication and teaching.