Campaigning for change

COMPUTING

|
Image: John Mkumbo. By Hudson Kazonta
John Mkumbo

By Hudson Kazonta, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

A young school teacher in Tanzania’s Singida region is helping drive a project to equip schools with ICTs, to improve children’s access to learning materials.

The teacher, John Mkumbo, notes that ICTs are important for development – particularly in schools, where children can surf the internet for learning materials and research.

However, with too few people having internet access – 6 million in Tanzania, according to International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and database – more needs to be done to take access to schools.

Mkumbo, a qualified school teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, tells Biztechafrica this is what drove him to introduce a project aiming to provide computers to schools in collaboration Friends Family Community Connection. The plan is to take computer access to students and their communities.

Mkumbo says the project, which is known as “Rural Schools computer project in Central Tanzania” will help selected few schools to have computers for their students and is being provided at no cost.

The beneficiaries of the project will be students, teachers and the community who are living near the school, whereby will be provided computers which will be connected with internet.

He says the project will run under the supervision of a project supervisor and the head of the school concerned. Other stakeholders will be involved too, including students, teachers and community members.

The project aims to use computers to train students, teachers and community members and to serve as a resource centre for the community, as well as providing provide stationery services.

Mkumbo says the project will address two big problems in Tanzanian schools: a lack of enough teachers focusing on science subjects, and a lack of teaching and learning materials.

“Therefore with this project students can access materials and other resources if he/she has a computer. Using computer aided teaching, one teacher can teach many students at once. Another reason is because I myself I have a Bachelors Degree in information Technology so I felt responsible to help my fellow Tanzanians to get used to this very new Technology,” he adds.

Explaining about obstacles which can face him during implementation of the project he said, lack of enough computers for at least every school to have its own computer lab is the one big problem which facing many school in the country.

The project has so far installed one lab, with only 10 computers, at Gunda Secondary school. This lab too faces challenges, because it does not meet the full needs of the school’s 600 students. However, thanks to the lab, the students are getting some access to word processing, spread sheet and graphics programs and are able to search for materials and answers from the internet on their own.

In addition, teachers are now able to source supplementary materials from the internet instead of depending on limited books. Science teachers can now demonstrate experiments by using videos online, he says.

“One challenge is a lack of strong internet connection. Currently they are getting little and limited internet connection from Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL). The only alternative is to get internet dish,” he says.

Speaking about the cost of implementing the project, Mkumbo says the project is being rolled out in collaborationwith Friends Family Community Connection (FFCC) from USA, who are helping to get computers and other necessary equipment.

Mkumbo urged the government to increase its support to local entrepreneurs even in remote areas because they have a very big contribution in the development of the country.

He said also other NGOs who are working in providing the computers to school are being welcomed to work together with him in order to sustain the project and make many schools to get the computer services.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

More Congo-Brazzaville women linking up with ICTs

More women are moving to learn to use ICTs in DRC, say ‘backyard’ teachers. Read More

Has the operating system become a modern day utility?

As we make the shift to the cloud era, computing’s traditional building blocks, including the operating system, are increasingly abstracted away, says Red Hat.  Read More

Congo Brazzaville’s BantuHub offers ICT relief to locals

The BantuHub ICT centre in Brazzaville is a real cure for techentrepreneurs, bloggers, start-ups and other technology-minded people seeking a quick and an effective relief for their ICT headaches. Read More

Innovative products and professional services give Schneider Electric and end users the edge

Recognising enterprises' need for a specialist partner, Schneider Electric has developed its professional services based on using technology to improve end users’ efficiencies and communications, while making current and new markets accessible to them in faster, more competitive ways.  Read More

Brocade appoints new Senior Director of Technology, EMEA

Industry veteran Brian Levy will lead regional growth and operational excellence, further strengthening the Brocade leadership team. Read More

Electricity in Africa: is payment the problem?

While prepaid meters go halfway to solving the problem, making payment points widely available for people to purchase prepaid electricity vouchers is just as important, says Nomanini. Read More

Overcoming the challenges of location independent computing

Achieving true location-independent computing requires an application performance platform that maintains visibility no matter where or when the applications are located or accessed, says Riverbed.  Read More

Vodacom: cloud computing is IT industry game changer

Nkosi Kumalo (centre) and Vodacom officials Vodacom Business Nigeria says cloud computing will address all issues relating to reduction in cost of operating business in the country, but it lamented that businesses in the country are still lagging behind, with only a third of them currently using cloud technology. Read More

Gartner: dramatic change for data centre market

Four disruptive factors will force dramatic changes in the data centre (DC) market by year-end 2016, according to Gartner.  Read More

Metacom enables SA’s leading independent ATM network

Since 2005 Spark ATM has grown to be South Africa’s leading independent ATM network, with over 2,500 cash machines in some of the country’s most remote areas - all built on the basis of a uniquely lean, low-cost business model that has enabled it to put ATMs where ... Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

iProcure delivers inputs to farmers’ doorsteps using ICTsiProcure delivers inputs to farmers’ doorsteps using ICTs

An innovation dubbed iProcure is already being used by several agro input firms which are now relying on it to distribute their products to farmers. 

COMPANY NEWS

Schneider Electric signs exclusive off-grid solar distribution agreement with Zimbabwean firm

Schneider Electric has announced the signing of an exclusive agreement with Samansco, a Zimbabwean renewable energy, back-up power and appropriate technology company.

SAP Innovation Helps The Global Fund Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa

Extending a longstanding partnership, SAP is a founding member of The Global Fund’s new Innovation Coalition to support disease prevention and treatment.