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Airtel Kenya’s Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma Sunday said several students are already using the service launched two days ago/FILE - National Assembly


Airtel offers free internet access to support home learning in wake of coronavirus lockdown

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the wake of coronavirus pandemic which forced the government to close all schools countrywide.

Airtel Kenya’s Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma Sunday said several students are already using the service launched two days ago.

“Airtel is doing this as part of its commitment to empowering the students using its technology and ensuring that students remain positively engaged in their learning process despite not being able to attend regular classroom sessions with their teachers at school in these trying times,” he said.

The move is expected to ease home learning at a time the country is grappling with economic effects of COVID-19 which has claimed more than 13,000 and infected more than 300,000.

Seven cases have been detected in Kenya out of the more than 1,000 infections in Africa. 2 fatalities have been reported in the continent.

The program will enable learning through the Longhorn e-platform through which learning material can be accessed on SMS, Android and Windows mobile platforms.

The newly launched program will be open until the schools are re-opened. According to the government’s directive, learning institutions remain closed indefinitely.

“This will help them continue learning while out of school, and open up a new world of opportunities for their future,” Airtel’s statement noted.

Safaricom Monday, March 16, waived fees for M-Pesa transactions below Sh1,000 in similar measures taken in light of the threat posed by COVID-19, to deepen mobile money usage and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

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The telco said the waiver of transaction fees will remain in force for 90 days. Safaricom’s decision followed a presidential directive to avoid the risk of transmission through physical handling of money.

At the same time, the Central Bank of Kenya has approved the increase of daily M-Pesa transactions limit form the current Sh70,000 to Sh150,000.

Kenyans will also be able to transact up to Sh300,000 up from their current limit of Sh 140,000 and hold up to Sh 300,000 in their M-Pesa wallets.

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