Off the national electric grid, Hamududu School in Kabwe is just one of many schools around Zambia lacking the basic necessities but for now internet access will not be one of them.
In partnership with Airtel Zambia, Samsung set up a solar powered internet school there to improve the ease of access to information and research tools for both pupils and teachers.
The solar powered internet school (SIPS) is a 12 metre metallic container with solar panels mounted on top of the roof that generate power 24/7 for the SIPS. It also is fitted with energy efficient LED lights.
For security reasons there is an IP camera, 3G enabled, that can be used remotely to monitor the SIPS.
It comes with 31 Samsung notebooks, a 65 inch Samsung display screen in the front of the classroom, as well as a printer, making it easier for pupils and teachers print out their research findings easily. It also comes fitted with fans to help keep the equipment and users cool.
The server for the school is loaded with educational content that covers the entire education syllabus for any grade.
The SIPS was set up by 33 volunteers under Samsung Korea through Samsung’s Employee Volunteer Project (EVP) which encourages employees to use their vacation time to help out underprivileged communities around the world where Samsung operates. This initiative was done in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Zambia.
At the launch of the SIPS, James Chona, Business Leader – Samsung Electronics, said, “Samsung believes in responsible corporate citizenship, where research, relevance and sustainability are crucial. The engagement model has been warmly welcomed in communities across Africa. Because programmes are implemented in consultation with communities and are clearly designed to meet their felt needs, they develop a sense of ownership of the projects.”
Hon Sidney Mushanga, Minister of Education, Science and Vocational training was there to help officially launch the SIPS and he said, “Investing in access so technology is available to students, even at basic level, can open new doors to learning new skills with ICT as the foundation.”
Dougla Katengo, who is Habitat for Humanity Zambia Chairperson added on saying, “The pupils deprived of access to technology find it hard to move out of poverty. The SPIS will enable the pupils to gain technological skills that will make them more employable and better qualified n the workforce.”
The solar powered internet school will be serviced by all the involved partners, while minor troubleshooting skills have been taught to the teachers themselves.