Author Archives: wendyk

Namumu School

Category : News

outside Namumu School

On 12th June we visited Namumu School. Children at Namumu School, like most of the rural schools in Siavonga District, receives food from the Zambian Government in the form of maize. The schools pay someone in the local community to boil it and that provides lunch each day. There is a shelter behind the school where children can eat. There is still a high degree of malnutrition and stunted growth in the area.

feeding areamaize

On 12th June we visited Namumu School. This school has now been connected to grid power. The solar equipment was in place but had been sidelined and the cables disconnected. Due to the fact that the cost of electricity is a drain on school resources, we intend to install a grid tie inverter and reinstate the solar set-up to feed into their grid.

 

solar controllersHT Namumu

head teachers room with PCsladies filling in questionnaire

We were pleased to see that the Raspberry Pi was turned on and was being used to access African Story Books and Wikipedia for Schools in particular. They had two PCs from the consignments of donated machines we sent out but were using  a laptop and teachers’ smartphones  to access the learning resources. Pupils occasionally used RACHEL independently. With a router, Namumu School will be able to network the PCs and use them to access RACHEL too.

Staff filled in our questionnaire for the impact assessment we are compiling thanks to a grant from The Waterloo Foundation


Bbakasa School

Category : News , zambia

Bbakasa is a remote rural school covering a large area stretching down to the Lower Zambezi. As such, it has many challenges. All the equipment was in place and since our last visit the school had received funding to add to the solar array.  Unfortunately it had suffered a lightning strike and the solar controller/inverter had been damaged.  We can not over-emphasise the need for earthing rods and lightning conductors  in the construction of schools where thunderstorms are frequent.

Bbakasa schoolbbakasaBbakasa HTsolar panels

Everything else looked OK and we hope to rectify the problems. The Head Teacher is well organised and his staff were familiar with RACHEL and had used the resources in their planning and teaching. We gave them an updated Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and an additional laptop. We were keen to get feedback on the impact of our project and teachers filled in our questionnaire. This part of our visit is funded by The Waterloo Foundation.

teachers at Bbakasademonstrating laptop


Munyama School

Category : News , solarpower

Our second visit on 13th June was to Munyama School. We are carrying out an exercise to monitor our impact thanks to funding from The Waterloo Foundation. This is the Zone school for the area and takes pupils to Grade 9.

Like Manchamvwa Lakeshore it is difficult to access and best reached by boat. A grant from Hub Cymru Africa enabled us to supply solar panels to both schools in Spring 2018.

Munyamasolar setup at Munyama

Everything was tidy and in good condition. We were very impressed with the Grade 9 pupils working on laptops donated by us and borrowed from Teachers. They were busy creating charts from spreadsheets and inserting them into presentation software.

IT classIT pupil

munyama schoolportable science lab

Like other schools which teach older pupils, Munyama School has been given a very basic portable “science lab” to use in Grades 8 and 9.

We are pleased to report that since our last visit the school now has two large water storage tanks to store water pumped up from Lake Kariba.

If you would like to help us continue to support Munyama and other schools, please consider donating here

 


Manchamvwa Lakeshore

Category : solarpower , zambia

On 13th June we visited Manchamvwa Lakeshore School using the Office of the President’s boat.The District  Education Board Secretary, the Resource Centre Coordinator and Human Resources Officer joined us. We also invited along Deana and Belinda from Friends of Monze   to help us with our monitoring exercise which is funded by The Waterloo Foundation.

Wendy and DEBSall aboard for lakeshore schools

We provided solar power to the school in Spring 2018 thanks to funding from Hub Cymru Africa and were pleased to find everything in good working order.

solar controllersbatteries

There was an extensive garden on site where they grew water melons. The Head Teacher gave us a water melon  to take for our lunch. He said he had consulted RACHEL learning resource to see how to grow them! We were pleased to discover the different uses that this resource is put to.

gardenWatermelonschildren at manchamvwaschool groundsManchamvwa Lakeshore schoolfishing and cattle farming


Kabbila School

Category : News , solarpower

Today our monitoring visits took us to Kabbila and Namumu Schools. The Waterloo Foundation are funding this task.

Kabbila

Kabbila is a remote school which has been beautifully decorated by Hafod Primary School in Swansea.

decorated classroom at Kabbila decorated classsroom at kabbila

You can see pylons from the school grounds but no power for them.
panels on roof at kabbilaPylons in background

It was the first school in which we installed solar panels, courtesy of funds from University of Wales Trinity St Davids. They had looked after their equipment despite several changes of Head teacher.

solar set up at Kabbila Schoolsolar controller

There are many challenges for schools such as this but the community rallies around. The Head of the PTA was mending the milling machine while we were there!

milling machinegoats

 

 


Katalumba and Game School visits

Category : News , solarpower

Today we began our site visits to schools where we previously installed solar panels. This monitoring exercise is thanks to funding from The Waterloo Foundation.

Katalumba is on a hill overlooking Lake Kariba. The school has many challenges but as well as having large classes of pupils up to Grade 7, tries to cater for 8 children with a range of special needs. In the evening adults from the community come in for literacy lessons. Raspberry Pi with RACHEL can help with resources. We left them an updated version of Pi and a laptop to use to access the resources.

Head teacher KatalumbaLooking at RACHEL resourcesPupils in Katalumbaspecial needs classroom!

Game School also overlooks Lake Kariba. We installed solar panels in both these schools thanks to donation of the panels by Solar Plants in Baglan Bay and funding from Hub Cymru Africa. The panels are still functioning well and they are using the RACHEL resources. We left an updated version of the learning resources and also a laptop. Their classes are very large particularly in Grades 1-4, typically 65-70.

Looking at RACHEL resources via laptopswapping out Pichildren outside school

They have a football pitch and parents are cooperating to make a garden.

football pitchgarden


Monitoring our impact

Category : solarpower , zambia

This morning we invited representatives from all the schools where we had installed solar panels to come to Siavonga Resource Centre. We wanted them to help us assess the impact of our project. The Waterloo Foundation has given us a grant to carry out the task of monitoring our impact.

We have installed solar panels in 14 schools in Siavonga District in liaison with the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). Funding for this work has come from University of Wales Trinity St Davids, S & C Electric Europe, Hub Cymru Africa, The Waterloo Foundation and Welsh Government Wales for Africa Grant Scheme administered by WCVACymru.  SolarPlants in Baglan Bay also donated us solar panels.

We divided into two groups and first addressed the issue of the impacts made by having solar power. The groups presented their findings to all attendees.

solar schoolsteachers at workTeacher from BbakilaDaniel from Dibbwi presenting findings

The most important impact of being given solar power was being able to run laptops with which to address the teaching of ICT. Schools also mentioned increased security because of LED lighting and the use of the school after hours for adult learning or for pupils to do homework.

impact of solar panels

The next question was concerning their use of the RACHEL  learning resources.There were differences between the groups in the modules  they used most. All used the African Story Books as there is a government initiative called Read Aloud encouraging daily reading. One school was interested in the Economics module as it gave information on entrepreneurship and setting up a business. In the communities served by all these schools, there is no formal employment. People farm or garden or run small businesses like shops.

Teacher from munyama

 

 


Official handover of Malimba School

Category : News , solarpower , zambia

On Friday 7th June we joined trustees of Friends of Monze and their local partners Zambian Women and Girls at the official handover of Malimba School.

Howard went early to check that the solar panels had been mounted on the roof correctly. He was pleased to see that all was well and the batteries were fully charged.

battery gauge shoing 100% chargedpupils at Malimba Schoolladies on catering dutybeer

A group of local ladies produced some amazing food after many hours toiling over hot fires. We had goat, chicken, beef, rape leaves, nshima and a delicious gravy. There were huge drums of sweet beer but we settled for soft drinks!

We looked at the new borehole provided by Friends of Monze and then enjoyed entertainment including singing and dancing.

entertainment


Final Day of Training in Monze

Category : News , zambia

On our final day of training at Monze Resource Centre, attendees were able to download useful resources for their schools and spend more time familiarising themselves with Kolibri and RACHEL learning platforms.

Monze Resource Centrelearning at Monze Resource Centre

Some looked at the range of stories available in the local language Chitonga.

screen with book in Chitongalearning together

Each day 25 teachers from 21 different schools came to the Centre for training. They have agreed to meet there once a month to share problems and ideas regarding IT.

At the end of the day we visited Lushomu school. Friends of Monze have recently added a new block to the school. We were pleased to see good use being made of the Raspberry Pi they received last year and we swapped it out for the latest version of Pi and RACHEL.

new school block at Lushomo schoolchildren of Lushomo entertaining usWendy with teachers


LibreOffice Training at Monze Resource Centre

Category : News , zambia

Today’s training session was based on LibreOffice which is on the laptops we supply to our schools. Training was well attended again and those who did not have LibreOffice already were able to download and use it.

office trainingoffice training

We had a short break for soft drinks, biscuits, bananas and a stroll in the sunshine.

sunshine breakoutside resourcecentre