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Technology - the pen and paper of our time

Published on  10 May by Amber Harrison , Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, SITA
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Students at computerIn November 2017 I visited six of the schools run by our charity partner PEAS across Zambia and Uganda on behalf of the SITA Air Transport Community Foundation. The Foundation aims to build ICT skills capability in the next generation of young people in Africa and so the SITA Foundation have partnered with PEAS to build and equip ICT labs across 15 PEAS schools. 

 

While visiting the new ICT labs, I was reminded of a quote by David Warlick, who said:

We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.

David Warlick, Educator, Author and early adopter of technology in education

 
Amber opening one of the labsSeeing the commitment of the school management and teachers, and the enthusiasm of the students as they use the new computer labs, I know that access to IT will not just make a difference to these young people, it will make the difference.

It was great to hear that the ICT labs have generated an interest not just in the schools, but also in the local community. Access to ICT is key for young people, but by engaging the parents and others nearby the ICT lab is recognized as an important asset for all.

Students at PEAS schools are always confident, but seeing them present their work on ICT was inspiring. Although some of them had only been studying for a few weeks, their capacity for learning and understanding a whole new subject area was incredible. Already they are seeing ways in which the technology skills they are learning now will open their opportunities for the future.

I was delighted to see such a change in the schools I had previously visited with the ICT labs in place. In just a year students were already taking – and passing – exams in ICT. You get a real sense of optimism, hope and energy from the students and teachers.

Amber planting a tree for future growth at the school Students walking past the SITA Air Transport Community ICT Lab

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