In 2015, the SITA Air Transport Community Foundation provided funding for the installation of IT equipment for Information, Computing and Technology (ICT) rooms at 25 rural primary schools in Amhara, Ethiopia. The availability of access to computers is a real challenge in this region where communities often struggle to maintain a regular power supply. Through the foundation’s work with ComputerAid International and local staff from the Amhara Development Agency, this project is giving children and teachers alike the opportunity to learn vital 21st century computing skills. The primary school students are getting familiar with the technology, while teachers are able to use the computers to plan lessons, prepare timetables, classes and prepare reports.

Ongoing monitoring the Amhara project has allowed us to spot new areas in need of support, and in 2016 each school received a projector and screen, printer, headphones and speakers, as well as a ‘Connect’ learning device. Built using a RaspberryPi, the Connect device creates a local area wireless network with 64GB of rich learning resources and a safe simulation of what it is like to work online. Connect devices allow students to study independently and at their own speed, while teachers also benefit from additional teaching materials and the ability to create handouts easily.

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