Category Archives: News

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Computers on their way to Zambia

Category : News , sponsors , zambia

Last Wednesday a good friend took 44 PCs and 60 monitors to Folkestone for shipping to the Department of Education in Siavonga. These were donated by a company which wishes to remain anonymous. We are grateful to Operation Sunshine for facilitating this delivery.

refurbishing a PC

Meanwhile we were busy showing teachers here how to refurbish the PCs by adding hard drives and an operating system.

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The activity never stops!

Category : News

Despite it being a Saturday, several enthusiastic teachers agreed to join us at Siavonga Teachers’ Resource Centre to set up equipment.

We are using some donated PCs to create a small network for offline research. The centre very rarely has internet access but its users have regularly gained information and knowledge from the offline RACHEL learning resources.

Teachers will be able to browse in their free time or when attending meetings. They may also be able to make use of the PCs during teacher training sessions which are held there.

adding ssd to old pcworking at new PC

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RACHEL / KOLIBRI offline learning resources

Category : News

Today’s training session focussed on exploring various offline learning resources we are supplying.

Teachers used laptops to connect to a Raspberry Pi acting as a server for the RACHEL learning resources. Their task was to explore the many extensive modules and locate information that would tie in with their ScheClose upof RACHEL on donated pcmes of Work.

One teacher from a school with no mains power chose to look at African StoryBooks. The Raspberry Pi server can be run from a good phone charger or power bank.


Kolibri resources can be downloaded on to a laptop. Teachers can monitor use of the various modules by individual pupils.

using RACHEL

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Meeting with District Education Board Secretary

Category : News , zambia

This morning we had a very useful meeting with The District Education Board Secretary and her Standards Officer. We discussed our program and advised them of our progress.

Yesterday teachers agreed to meet once a month to share and solve IT issues. They will report back to us so we can better identify the problems facing them.

We discussed the best way to refurbish the PCs that have already arrived and those in transit. The Standards Officer will allocate them according to school needs.

We explained our next visit, (planned for June), which will be focussed on finding out the impact we have had so far. We will be carrying out interviews, questionnaires and focus group discussions. We will also be looking at school statistics.

DEBS has kindly offered to provide transport to do the solar installations next week- dependent on road conditions.

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Network Maintenance training

Category : News

The purpose of today’s workshop was to show teachers how to repair network cables. This avoids them having to scrap damaged cables. They will be able to simply cut them and put new ends on. Each school has a tester kit which they can use to check that everything is wired correctly.

putting ends on cable
working togetherWe went outside to measure a long length of cable to extend the wireless access to the staff room.

measuring how much cable is used


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Refurbishing an old PC

Category : News

The purpose of today is to explain how to refurbish an old PC or laptop by adding a hard drive and an operating system. Thanks to a generous donor in UK, we have already brought more than 100 PCs and monitors to Siavonga.

Looking inside a PC

This training will enable teachers and IT technicians to get the machines up and working for use in their schools. They will understand the hardware, firmware and software.

adding an SSD drive

Long term, there will be fewer PCs discarded when things go wrong.

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Solar Installation Training at Siavonga High School

Category : News

This training was designed to introduce the principles of solar installation to teachers from three remote rural schools where we will be installing solar panels next week. Teachers came from Dibbwi, Manchamvwa Inland and Nashongo primary schools.

 solar system
crimping connectors for solar panels

After some explanation of how solar power works, and how to care for a solar system, it was hands-on to connect the panels in pairs. The teachers will transport the equipment to their schools and Giakonda Solar Schools will oversee installation next week.

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Amazon Smile

Category : News

Don’t forget to support Giakonda Solar Schools when you shop on Amazon. Every little helps us buy more equipment for rural schools in Zambia.

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Updated instructions for Installing Kolibri

Category : News

We have been busy updating our instructions for installing Kolibri and Raspbian on older PCs and laptops. This makes a very useful platform for adding educational resources and monitoring pupils’ use of them.

Download here.

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Category : News , zambia

We are excited to be installing Kolibri on the laptops and Raspberry Pi computers we take to Zambia.

What is Kolibri?

Kolibri is a Learning Management System  designed to run on low-power devices, targeting the needs of learners and teachers where there is limited infrastructure. A user can install Kolibri and serve the app on a local network, without an internet connection. Kolibri installations can be linked to one another, so that user data and content can be shared. Users can create content for Kolibri and share it when there is network access to another Kolibri installation or the internet.

At its core, Kolibri is about serving educational content. A typical user (called a Learner) will log in to Kolibri to consume educational content (videos, documents, other multimedia). They can test their understanding of the content by completing exercises and quizzes, with immediate feedback. A user’s activity will be tracked to offer individualized insight (like “next lesson” recommendations), and to allow user data to be synced across different installations — so a Kolibri learner can use his or her credentials on any linked Kolibri installation, for instance on different devices at a school.

Read more about the ideas behind Kolibri here

How to install Kolibri

Find out how to install it here