Category : News
Since 2015 Giakonda Solar Schools have been providing RACHEL (freely available here) via Raspberry Pi computers to rural schools in Siavonga District, Southern Province, Zambia.
Schools in Zambia have many challenges including large class sizes, very few resources and expensive, erratic or non-existent mains electricity. We identified twenty six schools of the thirty five government schools in the District as having no access to mains power. (This despite Siavonga lying on the northern shore of Lake Kariba with its huge hydro electric station!)
Our solution was to install solar panels and batteries and supply laptops and a Raspberry Pi with RACHEL on 64GB sd card. LED lights were also a welcome addition. The Head Teacher of Sianyoolo Primary school commented, “We have lights, we have learning resources. Now we are a real school.”
We have also provided RACHEL to five larger powered schools via a Synology DiskStation server and networked computers to access the resource. It has made a great difference to teachers and pupils alike. Feedback from teachers has included comments like;
“I was able to complete the assignments for my Master’s degree using RACHEL”;
“It helps me plan lessons and check up on anything I’m not sure of”;
“It is better using an offline resource because the internet is expensive and we can’t always access it. Also pupils are not distracted by things like FaceBook.”
Pupils are keen to use it because they are able to do personal research and find things not available in their textbooks.
They even joke that they are “going to see RACHEL!”