"I want to learn computer skills; I think it is very important to replace our fear with curiosity and increase our understanding of our country"

Student in Ethiopia Digital Schools project

Eshe's Story

Eshe lives in a rural village in Ethiopia, she hopes one day to go to Bahir Dar University to study Engineering, but her local school has limited facilities and no computers at all.

Without access to technology, Eshe only has one science textbook to read which she has to share with 5 other students. She feels like the prospect of getting into university is far removed from her current life.

Our solar learning lab would give Eshe a chance to access digital textbooks, animated videos and research engineering courses online, as well as giving her the computer skills she would need to keep up with other students at university.

Hakim's Story

Hakim goes to school when he can, but also has responsibilities in the family business selling cosmetics at the local market. He wants to make the family business more successful and keep better records of their sales, but without access to a computer he can only record these in a notebook.

When he does go to school, he finds it hard to focus on the lessons – as a visual learner he finds it hard to engage with lessons which have no interactive elements, he finds it hard to keep up with his peers.

Our solar learning lab would give Hakim access to Microsoft Office and the skills to use it effectively to help his families’ business. He could also use the internet to research new products for his family business, and learn new selling techniques to help their business grow.

“I want to learn computer skills because it makes me active in each and every subject and want information to be easily accessed” 

Student in Ethiopia Digital Schools project

These stories have been created using quotes adapted from real students in Ethiopia and based on the experiences we’ve seen there.

The need for ICT In Ethiopia

Ethiopia ranks 174 out of 188 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Report, making it a critical area for educational investment.

Our first Solar Learning Lab in this country will complement Dell’s first large-scale Youth Learning program in Ethiopia which aims to raise digital literacy rates. The conclusion of the 2017 study Educational Technology Implementation in Ethiopian High Schools (CHAP, Assefa, Temtim) stated that:

“ICT has many benefits for Education. But for developing countries like Ethiopia, there is a serious knowledge gap of how to appropriately integrate ICT in their educational
system.”

Despite progress, Ethiopia’s education indicators are still below Sub-Saharan averages. According to UNESCO, in 2018 Ethiopia ranked 173rd out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index. Problems are magnified in rural areas, indicated by high re-sit levels, low completion rates and an increase in drop-out numbers. As a result, the classroom experience and teaching efficacy are compromised. Local teachers are also under pressure.Low pay and undervaluation of teachers contributes to poor quality teaching. High numbers of over-age students present a challenge for teachers who must teach a more diverse group with differing levels of maturity and school preparedness. This is exacerbated by large class sizes and poor resources resulting on poor performance on national assessments.
 
Many teachers indicate that access to 21st century tools and expertise would inspire them to explore new forms of pedagogy and equip them with ways of dealing with large and diverse classes. The project is intended to contribute towards the improved quality of education for marginalised children by establishing Solar Learning Labs in areas where there is little to no ICT  access available. This project will help schools and local communities to improve their teaching,learning, educational management and provide access to information. It’s expected that improvement of resources and training will revive motivation in teachers and students and have an impact on student retention and learning effectiveness.

In the current information society, with IT spreading across society, ICT contributes to increasing social and economic productivity all over the world. Accordingly, the need for securing human resources acquired with ICT competency is becoming a very important national and social issue

Cha & Jun, 2011

Ethiopia Lab #1

Ethiopia, Amhara Region. Genji Secondary School
Local Partner: Bureau of Education and Amhara development association 
100% funded by Dell and software donation by Microsoft.