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Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education

Background

Ethiopia, located in the Horn of Africa, is a unique place of ancient archaeological finds, enriched with its own unique language and culture. To seize new development opportunities, Ethiopia is now focusing on education as a strategy for national revitalization. The country invests nearly 5 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) into education every year.

Challenges

Interactive Remote Education Is Urgently Needed

Ethiopian education has made great progress in recent years, but the uneven distribution of educational resources has become more prominent. Despite the emergence of new teaching methods like global online education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Ethiopia encounters various obstacles in providing general education.

Eighty percent of Ethiopians live in rural areas, but high-quality educational resources are concentrated in large cities, making fairness difficult to achieve. Second, there are no ICT networks in primary and secondary schools. Knowledge is transferred only by teachers, which hinders information sharing and reduces teaching efficiency.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education is determined to adopt network communications technologies to change its current situation and deploy advanced ICT networks for modern education.

Ethiopia plans to deploy ICT networks for 300 primary and secondary schools as well as 10 universities. This change will give each student access to data center resources through online and distance education; allow the sharing of high-quality teaching resources; and help to offer more fair educational opportunities. In addition, new network communications technologies will help promote the efficient transfer of knowledge and educational resources; facilitate communication between schools and the Ministry of Education; and gradually align the general education in Ethiopia with international standards.

With digital transformation, applications such as cloud computing, big data analytics, online teaching, and interactive education have become trends in the education sector.

By embracing such ICT developments, Ethiopia must build high-quality campus networks with high bandwidth, Wi-Fi coverage, and easy Operations and Maintenance (O&M) to meet the online educational trends required by 300 local primary and secondary schools.

Solution

End-to-End High-Bandwidth Networks Provide High-Quality Service Experiences

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education posed the following requirements for providing convenient, flexible, and personalized learning environments for students: First, deploy HD online video teaching services in each primary and secondary school classroom; second, construct two ICT computer labs in each school; and third, build desktop cloud-based HD remote interactive and mobile teaching systems for each school.

To meet these requirements, Huawei offered a customized, high-bandwidth agile campus network solution that provides a two-layer network architecture (including access and core layers), which enables uniform planning of resources in the office areas of each school, simplifies the traffic forwarding process, and improves network efficiency.

Huawei’s agile Layer 3 switch S5720HI was deployed at the core layer of the agile campus network to provide four 10 GE uplink interfaces, while Huawei’s second-generation cost-effective switch S5720LI was used at the access layer.

This architecture is ten times faster than traditional networks and meets gigabit to desktop requirements, ensuring smooth downloads and uploads when teachers and students access HD video teaching resources.

Wi-Fi Coverage Ensures Access in High-Density Areas and Better Internet Experiences

Because there was no Wi-Fi coverage in densely populated areas, Huawei recommended the gigabit 802.11ac Wave2 Access Point AP4050DN for delivering 1.167 Gbit/s of throughput. Huawei’s unique 3D WLAN planning tool was applied to the construction of a three-dimensional deployment space that is identical to the actual deployment environment, making AP deployment much easier.

This innovative tool takes all of the factors that affect network quality within a three-dimensional space into consideration to eliminate planning errors caused by traditional 2D planning tools in complex environments, and effectively prevents radio interference between APs.

During network deployment, high-density access technologies including low-speed station control, multi-user conflict control, multi-user access scheduling, and airtime fairness scheduling ensure superior wireless Internet access in high-density computer rooms.

Huawei’s Agile Campus Solution increases the quality of primary and secondary schools in Ethiopia by providing end-to-end high-bandwidth wired and wireless networks. To accommodate student/teacher requirements for online video education, non-blocking interactive teaching and Video on Demand (VoD) improve teaching efficiency.

Benefits

Wired and Wireless Convergence Technology Simplifies Network O&M

Huawei’s agile switch S5720HI integrates the wireless Access Controller (AC) function, which enables the switch to implement wired data exchange services and manage a large number of wireless APs.

With only licenses configured, the S5720HI can manage all wireless APs on the campus network, with no additional wireless AC required, reducing device costs. This is a vast improvement over the independent wired and wireless network architectures of traditional campus network solutions which place high requirements on O&M, management, and maintenance personnel, making troubleshooting difficult and time-consuming.

The S5720HI supports agile wired and wireless convergence. In this way, the wired and wireless network planes are managed in a unified manner, improving O&M efficiency by 50 percent and reducing costs.

Huawei, by working together to understand the core requirements of primary and secondary schools in Ethiopia, built a modern smart campus network featuring high bandwidth, Wi-Fi coverage, and easy maintenance. Such technologies make online and interactive learning network platforms available for teachers and students, eliminating the gap between primary and secondary schools, and promoting educational fairness.

Huawei’s Agile Campus Solution fulfills these educational core requirements with high standards that build advanced, efficient, and reliable school campus networks which can expand based upon future educational needs.

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