The Kenyan government has decreed that schools must provide PCs for their Grade 1 students, a particularly tough challenge for Brainhouse Academy that has no funds to buy computers, no stable electrical supply in the slums and very little experience of using computers amongst the staff.
So a huge thanks goes to Les Enstone for reconditioning four laptops to be taken out to the school in October 2013 to start us moving in the right direction.
The first step was to train the teachers to be able to use computers for their own teaching before they can move on to supporting student use. However, when we unpacked all of the laptops and looked around we hit the first major hurdle of no power! We resolved this by running a very long cable from the Headteacher’s office and then we could begin. We undertook training with a small group of teachers to help them learn the basics and provided them with a series of templates that they can begin to build upon. On the second day they had already started to mentor each other on using the PCs – a great start! There are still huge issues around power, networking and the ability to save work; and accessing the internet really is a distant dream.
COULD YOU HELP?
We would be keen to access a batch of USB memory sticks which could be sent out to Brainhouse to help teachers save their work in the short-term.
We will also focus on IT on a forthcoming trip and we would love to hear from you if you would like to use your IT knowledge to help build a more robust system for the school and to help train other users.
The Headteacher at Brainhouse was very pleased with the progress made, which will be built upon over the coming months by his son, Victor, who is volunteering his time to encourage and support teachers in their first steps. The Head commented that “they were getting ahead of the government agenda” and were certainly considerably ahead of other schools in the area.