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Sunshine powers Uganda’s school computers

Turning on a computer shouldn’t be that difficult. Except if you don’t have any power supply. Most rural schools in Uganda don’t have mains electricity or any other reliable power, leaving them cut off from learning about modern technology.

So while the education world is awash with talk about technology and keeping up with the global race, many children at school in sub-Saharan Africa don’t even get on the starting grid.

But a project serving rural schools in Uganda is taking a direct approach to the problem. It’s using the abundant equatorial sunshine to provide electricity for mobile classrooms, using portable solar panels.

Making connections      

Run by an education charity, the Maendeleo Foundation, it’s a relatively low-tech answer to a hi-tech gap.

A sturdy vehicle drives to outlying schools, bouncing up and down along snaking, dusty, pot-holed roads, with solar panels attached like a photovoltaic roof rack.

These are not tarred roads, but bright red earthen tracks, pressed down by vehicles and villagers, goats and cattle, hemmed in by deep green vegetation, which is to say that this isn’t exactly a motorway and it’s slow progress.

When the jeep arrives at a school, it provides an instant pop-up classroom. There’s a tent, chairs, desks and enough laptops for a class – and the charge from the solar panels allows the pupils to have a computer lesson lasting several hours.

Source: BBC

Read the full article: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26546413

 

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