Bringing Technology to Rural schools in Zimbabwe

by Tekeshe Foundation
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TELONE WORKING ON THE VSAT DISH
TELONE WORKING ON THE VSAT DISH

This project is at the heart of our organization and is our strategy for bridging the digital divide that exists between rural and urban schools. More than 75% of Zimbabwe's 14 million population lives in the underserved rural areas where there is limited access to technology because development is disproportionately concentrated in urban areas. As a result, rural schools are faced with so many challenges. Teachers dont have the proper tools for teaching, classrooms are in disrepair, and the schools simply dont have the funds to buy computers. Lack of access to technology has created a digital divide between urban and rural schools which is severely disadvantaging a whole generation of youth growing up in the rural areas.

After high school, over 70% of rural students drop out of school because they dont have the funds to pursue higher education. Having computer skills would open doors of opportunity to these students who find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty as they are not able to continue their education and yet they are ill-prepared to enter the workforce. Unlike their counterparts, the urban youths who undergo computer training, rural youths have no opportunities to learn computer skills because such services are limited, or in most cases non-existent in the rural areas. Consequently, a student from the urban area with computer skills is more likely to find employment unlike his/her rural counterpart who ends up trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.

The ultimate goal of this project is to provide a level playing field for the rural youth and put them in a better position to compete for jobs.

Update On Upgrading The Internet Service

The biggest accomplishment of this project was seeing our vision of "BRINGING THE INTERNET TO RURAL SCHOOLS" become a reality. On September 8, 2014 TELONE installed VSAT satelitte at Rimbi High School. We could not have done this without your help! 
The VSAT package cost us $800 for installation and included 512 kbps speed and 20 gig data allowance at a monthly charge of $50.00. We are pleased to announce that the package has been upgraded to 1 meg kb bps speed, 60 gig data allowance at a monthly service charge of $136.00.

Here is what one of the students had to say about having internet access:

In His Own Words By One Of The Students At Rimbi High

"I thank you very much for providing our school with the internet. We have learned how to use google to search for information. This is very helpful for us since we are able to get information on any topic. I kindly ask you to continue to support this project so that we can get more computers. Thank you again for all your are doing to help our school.

Update On Laptops 
Though this project is a big success, one of the challenges the teachers are faced with is limited access to computers. We are pleased to announce that we have finalized our agreement with a local company in Zimbabwe that offers a program for teachers to purchase laptops through monthly installments. Under this agreement, teachers can purchase laptops (dual cores) cash price, for  $370 or by credit for $492, at $41 per month for 12 months. The laptop specs are as follows : 500G HDD, 2G Ram, OS windows 8.1 or 7


As you can see we have accomplished a lot along the way—thanks for all your support!

Best Regards,

Thelma

RIMBI HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
RIMBI HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
STUDENTS AT RIMBI HIGH NOW HAVE INTERNET ACCESS
STUDENTS AT RIMBI HIGH NOW HAVE INTERNET ACCESS
RURAL TEACHERS ATTENDING OUR WORKSHOP
RURAL TEACHERS ATTENDING OUR WORKSHOP
Teachers Attending The Workshops
Teachers Attending The Workshops

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to you for your continued support of our Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) project. According to statistics, more than 2.5 billion people live in rural areas of developing countries which are underserved because development is disproportionately concentrated in urban areas.  Zimbabwe is no exception.  It has a population of over 14 million. More than 75% of the population of Zimbabwe lives in the rural areas where teachers and students have limited access to technology. The majority of the rural schools do not offer computer training because they simply dont have the funds to purchase computers and the teachers lack computer skills.  

After high school, over 70% of rural students drop out of school due to poverty and they end up going to urban areas to look for jobs yet they are ill-prepared to enter the workforce.

The ultimate goal of this project is to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban schools. The following are some of the positive outcomes linked to the use of technology in schools:

  • Improvement in the quality of education as the teachers will have better tools for teaching
  • Improvement in students' academic performance 
  • Increase in economic opportunities as there is a need for computer skills in today's workforce

Through your donations you are a playing a major role in helping us address the "Digital Divide". To date we have worked in collaboration with our in-country partner, Computers For Zimbabwean Schools (CZWs) to provide five computer training workshops to 25 teachers.   The workshops were a big success! Here is what some of the teachers had to say:

In His Own Words By The Headmaster

"We are grateful for the workshops that have been conducted by the Tekeshe Foundation with the help of the donors. The workshops have been a great eye opener! During one of these workshops, the instructor gave us an overview of the 21st century tools that CZWs offers for teaching. He demonstrated how to use a projector. This topic generated a lot of interest among the teachers. As the headmaster of Rimbi High school, I made a commitment to the teachers that I would purchase some projectors for our school. 

I am also very grateful to the Tekeshe Foundation  and to the donors for bringing the internet to Rimbi High! "

In His Own Words By One Of The Teachers

 

"We thank you very much for providing the funds that enable us to attend computer training workshops.  We have benefited tremendously from these workshops.  We kindly ask you to help us with computers that way we can have hands-on training during the workshops. This would be of great help.  Thanks again for helping us."

Update On Laptops For The Teachers

Though this proect is a big success, one of the challenges is that the teachers have limited access to computers. We are pleased to announce that we are in the process of forming a parnternship with a company that offers a program for teachers to purchase laptops through monthly installments. We will give you an update on this program in our next progress report.

Thanks again for all your support!

Best Regards,

Thelma

Teachers Attending The Workshops
Teachers Attending The Workshops
Teachers Attending The Workshops
Teachers Attending The Workshops
Rimbi High School Students
Rimbi High School Students

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to you for your continued support of this project. This project is at the heart of our organization and is our strategy for bridging the digital divide that exists between rural and urban schools.

As more and more jobs require technology, it is important that students understand how to use technology in a variety of ways. Unfortunately rural schools in Chipinge are underserved, and like many other remote rural schools in developing countries they are unable to offer computer training and internet access to students because they simply don’t have the funds to buy computers and the teachers lack computer skills.  After high school, over 70% of rural students drop out of school due to poverty and they end up going to the urban areas to look for jobs yet they are ill-prepared to enter the work force because they have no skills; unlike their urban counter parts who have computer skills.

The ultimate goal of this project is to provide the students with the skills essential for the 21st century that will increase their employability skills and place them on a level playing field to better compete for jobs.

What We Have Accomplished Together

With your help we have conducted four successful computer training workshops and have provided  computer training to twenty five teachers. On September 8, 2014 we reached a major milestone in the history of our organization, we finally brought the internet to Rimbi High school.  To date one thousand students and fifty teachers at Rimbi High school have access to the internet. Here is what one of the teachers from Rimbi High had to say:

In his own words from one of the teachers:

"We are very grateful to you for providing us internet connectivity. The teachers and students at Rimbi High now have access to a world of information. We can never thank you enough. We are very pleased with the VSAT internet connectivity provided by TELOne. The internet service is very reliable. We are looking forward to your help upgrading the system so that we can have more computers connected to the internet. We are grateful that Rimbi High school is now on par with urban schools. "

We have made a lot of progress but we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. We are now in PHASE 3 of this project. Here is what we hope to accomplish in this phase:

PHASE 3 OF THE PROJECT

The goal of the this phase is to continue Computer and Internet Literacy Training .
•The teachers who completed the first training will be trained on the tools for intergrating ICT into the curriculum
•Sensitization workshop will be conducted for the new group of teachers
•After the sensitization workshops, the new group of teachers will receive the Computer Literacy training that the first group of teachers went through. [This training covers, basic computer skills, Microsoft Office and the internet]
•Upgrade VSAT system at Rimbi High

 

As you can see from the pictures and the testimonial from one of the the teachers, this project is making a difference in the lives of rural teachers and students. This could not be possible without your support. Thank you so much!!!

Best wishes,

Thelma

Rimbi High School Students
Rimbi High School Students
Rimbi High School Students
Rimbi High School Students
Rimbi High School Students
Rimbi High School Students
Headmaster Receiving Laptops From The Foundation
Headmaster Receiving Laptops From The Foundation

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your continued support of our Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) project. This project is at the heart of the Tekeshe Foundation and is our strategy for bridging the digital divide that exists between rural and urban schools.  This project is a big success and it is tranforming education in Rimbi village.

In Phase I of this project we introduced sensitization workshops facilitated by our in-country partner, Computers For Zimbawean Schools (CzWS).  The workshops covered the integration of computers in the classroom and internet skills and resources for learning and teaching. The workshops were very well received by all participants. A Tekeshe Foundation staff relates: “It was an eye opener for most participants, it made them realize how far behind they were in their methods of teaching. The teachers requested the headmaster to buy projectors; they realized that the era of black boards and chalks was over.”   

In 2013, the second phase of our ICT project commenced. The goal of this phase was to provide Computer and Internet Literacy Training to the teachers and to to provide internet connectivity to Rimbi High School. 

  • To date we have provided computer training to 25 teachers
  • To date we have provided laptops to six teachers
  • On September 8, we brought the internet to Rimbi High

In his own words by "Rimbi High School ICT Project Coordinator" 

"Rimbi High School is appreciative of the unparalleled work being done to our school and the community at large by the Tekeshe Foundation. The most recent and most profound development to the school is the internet connectivity, which the Tekeshe Foundation intends to upgrade to meet demands and current developments on information technology i.e. to improve on speed, wifi connectivity and the number of computers connected. The internet facility has transformed the lives of teachers and students. They are now able to access the latest information for the different subject areas and this has really taken all of us to the information technology era and the global village"

WE ARE NOW IN PHASE 3 OF THE PROJECT

We are pleased to announced that the project is on target.  We are now in the third phase of the project. The goal of the this phase is to continue Computer and Internet Literacy Training .

  • The teachers who completed the first training will be trained on the tools for intergrating ICT into the curriculum
  • Sensitization workshop will be conducted for the new group of teachers
  • After the sensitization workshops, the new group of teachers will receive the Computer Literacy training that the first group of teachers went through. [This training covers, basic computer skills, Microsoft Office and the internet] 
  • Upgrade VSAT system at Rimbi High

 

As you can see we have accomplished a lot together. These accomplishments would not have been possible without your support. Through your donations you are playing a major role in tranforming the lives of rural teachers and students. Thanks again!

Best wishes,

Thelma

Teachers Who Are Beneficiaries Of The Project
Teachers Who Are Beneficiaries Of The Project
Students Who Are Beneficiaries Of The Project
Students Who Are Beneficiaries Of The Project
Teacher thanking the Donors for the Internet
Teacher thanking the Donors for the Internet

Dear Friends,

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to you for your continued support of our Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) project. This project is our strategy for bridging the digital divide that exists between the rural and urban schools.  We've accomplished a lot along the way—thanks to your help!. Here are some highlights.

1. Twenty Five Primary and Secondary School Teachers Received Basic Computer Training
To date we worked in collaboration with our in-country partner,  Computers for Zimbabwean Schools (CzWS) to conduct six ICT workshops at Rimbi High school. The workshops have been a great eye opener to show the teachers that the era of black boards and chalks is over and to introduce to them the 21st century tools for teaching. We are pleased to announce that this project is a big success. To date, twenty five primary and secondary school teachers have received basic computer training including word processing, spreadsheet processing and presentation package training. The teachers found the workshops very beneficial and they requested to have more training. Here is what some of the teachers who attented the workshops had say:

"I am now able to embolden text. I am also able to underline text as well as to use italics. I am also fascinated by the ability of the text to appear in different colours. "


"I am benefitting so much through this programme since I was at ‘zero’ as far as Computer Literacy is concerned.  I was even shy to be associated with computers since I couldn’t even turn a computer on.  I am very thankful for Mr Mupinda, the instructor. He has taught us a lot within a short space of time.
Microsoft Word – I am now able to type any document and can insert any symbols I want with ease.  He also taught us Microsoft Excel which is a very useful tool in teaching.  The summation in particular was so interesting, using average and the copying of formulas was just magical!"

2. Five Teachers Received Laptops

Though this project is a big success one of the challenges is that the teachers have limited access to computers. To address this problem we made an arrangement with CsWS to provide us refurbished laptops at a discounted price of $220 per laptop. The teachers will pay $50.00 while the Tekeshe foundation covers the rest of the cost. To date we  purchased five laptops for the teachers. 

3. We Brought The Internet to 1,000 Students At Rimbi High School
Our biggest accomplishment this year was seeing our vision of  "BRINGING THE INTERNET TO RURAL SCHOOLS" become a reality. On  September 8, 2014 TELONE installed VSAT satelitte at Rimbi High School.  Here is what one of the teachers and the head boy had to say:

In His Own Words By One Of The Teachers At Rimbi High School

"We would like to register our utmost appreciation to the donors for bringing this state of the art technology to our school. We used to be a school indeed just like other schools. On behalf of Rimbi school we feel humbled that from now onwards our school has the most advanved technology in the Sabi valley area. There is no other school in the valley with such technology. Our school is now in par with urban schools.  Now that we are at par with other schools in the country there should be no excuse for mediocrity and below par performance."

In His Own Words By The Rimbi High School Head Boy
"We are very pleased to have such a facility at our school. We are very grateful to you the donors. From now onwards the pass rate at our school will improve because we will be able to get information from the internet. We continue to look to you to help advance our school. Thank you so much!"


Goals for 2015 - 2016
1. Provide internet access to Rimbi Primary school.  
2. Provide computer training to 100 teachers by end of 2015
4. Provide laptops to 50 teachers by end of 2015


As you can see we have accomplished a lot. These accomplishments would not have been possible without your support. Through your donations you are playing a major role in tranforming the lives of rural teachers and students!.

May you have a very happy and prosperous 2015!

Best wishes,

Thelma

Rimbi High School Head Boy thanking the Donors
Rimbi High School Head Boy thanking the Donors
TELONE giving students and teachers VSAT overview
TELONE giving students and teachers VSAT overview
Students getting VSAT overview
Students getting VSAT overview
 

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Organization Information

Tekeshe Foundation

Location: North Chelmsford, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.tekeshe.org
Project Leader:
Thelma Sithole
North Chelmsford, MA United States

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