Dhiraagu, the Maldives’ leading listed company by market capitalization, has connected every school in the country to Wi-Fi through a $8.9 million government program being led by the Ministry of Education. The government has provided “tablets for every student and teacher,” Minister of Education Aishath Shiham tells The Business Report, while Dhiraagu will ensure each of the schools of the Maldives’ 186 inhabited islands receives high-quality Wi-Fi.
“We already provide our broadband service to all schools in the Maldives,” says Dhiraagu CEO and Managing Director Ismail Rasheed. “We are very proud to be a part of this project, which will bring a lot of benefits to students and their community,” he continues.
Wi-Fi connections began to be established across the Maldives’ school system in April, which was shortly followed by the distribution of 71,000 tablets by the Ministry of Education in May. “If our students are going to interact with the new world that they’re going out into as 21st century individuals, they have to have the technological skills,” says Minister Shiham.
The Maldives’ young population, where 41.6% are below 24 years old, is a major part of Dhiraagu’s business, as well as a part of their service back to the nation. “Our corporate social responsibility program has a significant focus on youth empowerment and development,” says Rasheed. “We have also recently launched a number of services for the youth segment, including Mamen, our next generation of prepaid mobile, which allows users to design their own mobile plan. We also have introduced music streaming and augmented reality gaming platforms targeted at youth,” Rasheed announces.
Dhiraagu, a public limited company with majority shares (52%) owned by Batelco Group of Bahrain, has long been seen as the most successful joint venture in the Maldives. Today, Dhiraagu employs nine regional service centers, having overcome challenges presented by geography. “Dhiraagu is a very good example of a long-term joint venture formed with the government. The company has brought innumerable benefits to the people, shareholders and country alike and will continue to do so in the future,” says Rasheed.