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

Managed services born again in Africa

Thanks to the ever-evolving nature of technology and the rapid growth of cloud services in Africa, managed services has in effect been born again, says Gondwana International Networks (GIN) and iWayAfrica. Read More

CWG, Vodacom canvass local content in ICT

Olusola Teniola, Austin Okere and Mrs Newton-Denila Smarting from the success the Local Content Act has recorded in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, CWG and Vodacom Business Nigeria have canvassed its application to the ICT industry. Read More

Teachers recognised for best use of ICTs

The MTN Foundation and Cameroon’s Ministry of Secondary Education have recognised teachers who make the best use of ICTs in education. Read More

Use ICTs to boost entrepreneurship, DRC youth told

Young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been told to use the information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their quest to boost their entrepreneurship initiatives. Read More

LINKZ ICT challenge getting bigger

The fourth annual Botho University LINKZ ICT challenge this year attracted a sizeable number of students from both the tertiary and secondary school students.  Read More

Closing the ‘mobile’ gap in your DR strategy

As technology has evolved, vulnerabilities have opened up in many organisations’ DR strategies and infrastructure, particularly with regard to mobility, says Drive Control Corporation. Read More

Congo’s financial sector ‘falling in love’ with ICTs

The financial sector in Congo-Brazzaville seems to be falling in love thick and fast with ICTs. Read More

Adapt to ICTs or die, DRC postal service told

On Thursday 9 October 2014, while the world was celebrating World Postal Day, a top official of Société Congolaise de Postes et Télécommunications (SCPT) dropped a bombshell, saying that the country’s postal service needed to adapt to the information and communication technologies (ICTs) if it hoped ... Read More

Partnership enables immediate delivery of cloud services

On the back of its partnership with cloud distributor Cloud On Demand, local cloud service provider Alto Africa has dramatically increased the speed and delivery of its shrink-wrapped cloud solutions to customers. Read More

Oracle launches capacity-building programme to close IT skills gap in Africa

Oracle Corporation has announced an initiative designed to enrich and increase the skills capacity of IT practitioners in Africa.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

Growing African focus on data securityGrowing African focus on data security

Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.