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

Pamoja’s cloud service ecosystem taking shape in Africa

Pamoja, a leading cloud services and content aggregation business entity in the SEACOM stable, has entrenched the value of its service in East Africa and officially made this high-growth region its base.  Read More

Seagate ships world's first 8TB hard drives

Seagate Technology has announced it is shipping the world’s first 8TB hard disk drive.  Read More

Myth-busting the cloud for SMEs

There are still a few myths that prevail about the risks and benefits of cloud computing, says Ivan Epstein, co-founder of Softline and CEO of Sage AAMEA. Read More

Sage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growth

Umsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform.  Read More

Africa risks ‘new digital divide’

According to the WEF Global Information Technology Report 2014, a more solid ICT infrastructure and improving the framework conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship will be crucial to avoid the emergence of a new digital divide in Africa. Read More

VMware delivers new innovations for the open, agile, secure software-defined data centre

Industry’s most complete software-defined data centre portfolio helps customers slash CAPEX by nearly 50 percent and improve IT productivity by 100 percent or more. Read More

Gartner: CIOs must embrace digital ethics

The need for CIOs to consider digital ethics has become paramount as the pace of technology change accelerates, says Gartner. Read More

The blueprint for BYOD success

Just like mobile analytics, big data, the internet, and social networks changed the way companies do business, so the adoption of mobile devices has become a catalyst for change in corporations and SMEs, says SAP Africa. Read More

Orange, GESCI to train teachers on ICTs in education

Orange Telkom Kenya CEO Mickael Ghossein and GESCI Country Project Manager Esther Mwiyeria Orange has partnered with the Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) to support e-learning and integration of ICT in education. Read More

Cisco: the ICT behind the Commonwealth Games

240km of fibre underpins the most connected Games ever to a wealth of bandwidth, says Cisco. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up Safaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up

Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit. 

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.