Head teacher and Founder of the Holy Tree Academy, Beatrice Mchalongo and primary teacher Nicholus Nzai talk about how Camara’s services and your donations of computers have benefited their school in Kenya.
Q. What is the difference between having computers at the school versus having no computers?
Beatrice: Learning has improved so much. The kids are getting learning materials from the computers, especially in Wikipedia. They are really benefiting, teachers are getting good notes from Camara computers. We are going to practice a lot of good teaching and good learning through Moodle which we have been taught through Camara’s ICT training. It’s a very good program. We have learnt Marble which has also helped the kids so much.
Q. As an ICT teacher, what has changed with the kids since you have completed your training with Camara?
Nicholus: It has enhanced our education, our learning, here at the school. We can see most of the students, the learners, they have the urge to get more and more knowledge from the computers e.g. in Mathematics, like the tax Math computer game. Even the typing, they have really improved, in their English language, English pronunciation and writing.
Q. What difference do you think technology and computers will make in the future for the kids?
Beatrice: They will be fluent in computer use and they’ll change the whole community because when they learn computers, they will disperse that knowledge to the rest of the community so it will help the whole community as well as themselves.
Q. What is the best thing about Camara?
Beatrice: The best thing is that it has helped the pupils to learn, to learn new things, they learn through games. They have changed their lives because they are self-reliant, they can do their own work without any problem.
Nicholus: The best thing is that it helps them, in fact due to the freeness of the Camara computer training, it has enhanced the people who are poor to train on a computer, so because we have them and we have the facilities from Camara, it is really helping them.
Beatrice: It has been a great benefit to us because when we were trained, we came and passed the knowledge to the rest of the teachers. They didn’t know computers, so himself and I and another 2 teachers, we came and taught all the teachers so all the teachers are now computer literate, because of the commodity, the presence of the computers and the knowledge Camara has given us, so we shall continue passing it on until everyone in this community knows how to work with a computer. There are also outsiders who are coming to learn computers during the weekend when the kids are not there. Even the parents are also coming to learn.
In follow up to her recent interview with Camara, the Founder of the Holy Tree Academy in Kenya, Beatrice Mchalongo told Grace Duffy, a volunteer from Trinity College Dublin, just how beneficial the computers have been in her school. Below is an extract from their recorded conversation.
Grace Duffy: How will digital literacy skills benefit the students once they leave school? Does it improve their future opportunities?
Beatrice Mchalongo: This is through experience – some students who went to secondary schools from this one, they are often very beneficial to their schools there. In fact, when they came back here, they told me that they are the teachers of computers in their classroom because some of their teachers are illiterate in computers, so there they have no teachers of IT. Our pupils in the secondary schools are the teachers. Because right now, most teachers are not trained. They are taking the training now. So they have benefitted, themselves and also their school communities.
GD: What evidence of positive change have you seen?
BM: Generally, as far as business is concerned, the computers have made us more famous and more known, so much interest is being brought because of the computers. There is no other school with computers, so because they want to learn this new technology, they have brought their kids here.