African Schools on Line
- It began in Africa. Zimbabwe to be precise and has grown worldwide. A random enquiry from Stephen Ibbs of Data Developments in Wolverhampton. "My father used to be a teacher in Zimbabwe could you supply computers for the three schools he taught"... From this begining "African schools on line" was born and developed into an innovative educational program..., much more than sending our old computers to faraway places. Check our video on You Tube
Why Computers? It's a valid starting place. Agree or disagree I.T is a Global process affecting us all, however for many access to broadband, IPad or play station remains an unattainable dream. Logic then says; given this global platform and reliance on IT, varying and necessary skills are then required. Especially for developing countries where the skills divide remains significantly disproportionate to that of Western countries.
It requires a plan:
- Thus far in excess of a billion pounds of finance and equipment have been expended on wide ranging ICT / school projects undertaken by eminent institutions including the World Bank, European Union & Microsoft; unaudited and sadly with limited benefit or sustainability.
Failure is a harsh word, breakdown of such projects is due to various of reasons; however experience suggests the key reason has been lack of local ownership combined with Vision and skills limitations. To this end CfC developed a grass roots model, which has proven to be highly successful.
- DFID (Department for International Development) Quote "We have witnessed many ICT schools projects in Africa, but "African Schools on Line" is one of the few projects we have seen that actually works"!!
This success has been achieved by assessing ,identifying and addressing potential limitations of local education provision and skills levels in schools, thereby aiding the development of wider working partnerships i.e schools sharing resources or opening facilities for community benefit.
Our program fosters local ownership for state and independent Primary and Secondary education, whilst involving the local community to view and grasp the bigger picture of the actual potential for supporting such initiatives including access to training, adult education, social enterprise, etc.
• Even though it is often cheaper to ship computers & equipment to far away regions than purchase locally. Supplying computers on their own is not a solution.
Commitment, Transparency and Viability are the key requirements from any Education Ministry, School or Organisation seeking to participate or recieve assistance & support from CfC. As an established UK Charity, CfC remains accountable to donors and recipients for good practice and stewardship of resources. Hence all new participants seeking entry into this programmes are required to fulfil the CfC criteria for acceptance
Criteria include; Site assessment, Skills analysis of personnel, undertaking by participants to maximise usage of resources including provision for shared access to neighbouring schools, community, etc.
The package provides all the necessary tools for a successful outcome, including equipment, assorted training including Curriculum development, Business skills, Software and Hardware development.
Success and Failures:
- Sadly not all schools and projects will manage to grasp the vision or potential of this program. In such cases support is suspended until required changes are achieved...
However for the majority displaying and achieving the required developments, ongoing support including access to vocational initiatives developed by CfC are made available.
Results speak for themselves; our Zimbabwe schools program alone yielded 100% GCSE level exam results in computer studies.
- "African schools on line" has benefited 100,000 thousand children world wide
It's not all about Computers. CfC responds to the wider needs in areas of operation; including Health, Water, Farming, AID, Social Enterprise projects
Who has financed all this?
- There has been no funding. It costs and the core issue is that the people and these areas of need, simply lack the resources including access to funds to make such projects happen. Sponsorship in varying forms has been the key
Beginning in 1995 with a single request to supply computers for three secondary schools in Zimbabwe, Simon Rooksby (Founder) went out put it together, but it was due to the shared Vision and support of Air Zimbabwe, Harare Anglican Diocese, and Zimbabwe Ministry of Education the project was extended to a further 100 schools, including the setting up of a teachers network, annual conference and as outlined a myriad of community benefits aiding infrastructure development.
- The cost: Pre Recession British Airways, Air Zimbabwe, Kenyan Airways & Data Developments, British Council, British High Commission made so much possible from sponsored shipping & flights. But Now dependent on self-funding and maintaining green footprints with maximum value precludes shipping single or small consignments for individuals, schools & projects.
- £5000 dependent on country & location represents shipping a 20' shipping container to enable supply & installation of equipment and resources for 20 projects.
- £50 provides a computer and backup for one year and more. Our containers fully utilise space and carry additional materials including; medical supplies, clothing, etc. Benefitting the wider community. That works out at 96p a week - Much less than the cost of a cup of coffee or newspaper
- £1000 provides a complete networked computer facility for a school including training input and more, quite remarkable.......
We don't want to stop these programs. Funding and Support is needed not just for for "African Schools on Line" but other continents too.... With a worldwide financial uncertainty continuing to rage much support has been reduced or stopped... New supporters / sponsors including support from shippers are needed.
Fund raising is one of many ways to help; including the tax benefits by gift aiding or corporate gift aid which do make a difference.
- Alternatively give your skills & time. i.e: Vincent and Hilary from Southern Ireland self-funded 6 months of their time and skills to undertake the installation of equipment to 20 new schools plus provide training and audit in Western Kenya
For more information or to donate: Please call T: 01323 848588 or this Link to email Simon
- Daily CfC receives 100's of requests worldwide requesting access to "African Schools on Line", help us to provide the positive response. Yes we can help!