Girls in Africa don’t get treated to the same level of education as boys do and this is quite noticeable in the attendance rates. Some families are unable to send all their children to school due to

Haregewoin Ababu (14) with IT Teacher, Serawdink Atnafe at the Jeruslaem Primary School in Addis Ababa

Haregewoin Ababu (14) with IT Teacher, Serawdink Atnafe at the Jeruslaem Primary School in Addis Ababa

financial issues and unfortunately in the cases of large families, boys are prioritised. Other times, early marriage can play a factor in preventing girls from completing their education. These factors can make girls feel inferior and out of place, just like it would in any school the world over.

Camara has been partnering with UNESCO to promote gender equality in schools by installing Unesco’s new e-learning platform, ‘Women in Africa History’. This project demonstrates that historically, women have distinguished themselves in the history of the continent in areas as diverse as politics (Gisele Rabesahala), diplomacy and resistance against colonization (Nzinga Mbandi), defence of women’s rights (Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti), and environmental protection (Wangari Maathai).

Through this project, and by emphasizing the education, academic careers and main achievements of these exceptional women, UNESCO & Camara seeks to highlight their legacy and calls for continued research on the role of women in African history. Teachers in our Camara computer labs across Africa have been implementing this programme into their classrooms and we have been speaking to one such teacher who has been using this platform with great success.

We met with Serawdink Atnafe, an IT teacher in the Jerusalem Primary School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. More than 1,600 children go to school here every day, age 5 to 15, and the pupil teacher ratio is 80:1. Serawdink serves as a perfect role model to the girls in this school who aspire for a better future. We asked for her thoughts on this new program:

Why is it so important for girls to have a historic female role model?

Knowing about Africa’s  women heroes can have a positive effect on the students overall development. Firstly, it primarily creates motivation and encouragement to be such a hero. Secondly, it develops students’ self confidence which results in a higher success rate in their academic performance especially, ladies.

How is technology improving education in the classroom?

ICT is essential for students for many reasons. First, it allows them to learn all academic subjects in the easiest way, for they can easily access information besides, they can learn practically. Above all, they can improve their computer skills as they are frequently exposed to it.

For you, who is an important female figure in African History?

Regardless of the fact that there are many African women heroes, my hero is Taytu Bitul who was a wife of Emperor menelik II who ruled Ethiopia. she played an compensable role in protecting her country from colonization from western countries and had a profound affect on me growing up.

Serawdink Atnafe teaching ICT skills to children in the computer lab at  the Jeruslaem primary school, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Serawdink Atnafe teaching ICT skills to children in the computer lab at the Jeruslaem primary school, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Having dedicated teachers like Serawdink, truly makes a difference in a child’s education and upbringing. By making education more interactive and practical, technology has the potential to make a huge difference in providing higher learning outcomes for both girls and boys. Camara has provided digital literacy to over 900,000 children around the world and will continue to provide equal learning opportunities through the use of ICT.