NetHope Global Summit Comes to Dublin

David Martyn, our Global Impact & Learning Manager, presented at the NetHope Global Summit held in Dublin recently. Read his account of that here:

The Nethope Global Summit came to Dublin in early November for a five day meeting of organisations and people involved in technology for development. Nethope is an umbrella organisation that promotes improvements in ICT for development and education. This provided Camara Education with an opportunity to present details on the work we are doing on data for education. On Tuesday I presented entitled ‘Harnessing Education Data for ICT4E Success’. The presentation focused on Camara’s plan for improving our data analytics capacity and using our research for project and programme improvements.

Our exciting product development strategy provides an opportunity to utilise more in-depth and varied education data. For example, the Camara Learning Studio will generate data related to individual student progression and performance which can be used by teachers and school leaders to improve pedagogical and learning outcomes. Camara will build an analytics platform with relevant statistical models to provide the metrics and information necessary.

At the same time, Camara is engaging in a research process that will work participatively with teachers, leaders and education officials to develop their capacity to utilise education information generated by Camara platforms. In September of this year, I began a PhD at University College Dublin with a research focus on contextualising narratives and metrics of education quality with a view to integrating into Camara’s projects. I will use our ZAMStem project in Zambia as a research site.

The presentation at the summit was well received and provoked some interesting questions and discussion. In particular, there was general agreement that an open repository of curriculum aligned educational content be developed and made available to organisation developing projects in this sphere. I look forward to further engagement on this issue.

David is pictured presenting above


2017 Impact & Learning Outcomes

2017 Impact & Learning Outcomes

In 2017, Camara Education worked with 1,595 Educational Institutions, trained 7,199 educators and installed over 14,287 computers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zambia and Ireland. In the process, 434,234 learners had access to computers and useful educational materials for their studies. In order to have a closer look at the impact of our activities, Camara Education conducts an annual Monitoring & Evaluation exercise. This exercise has proven to be vital in informing our program design, highlighting our strengths and weaknesses, evaluating the effectiveness of our approach and promoting accountability of resources used and outcomes achieved.

This year, our monitoring and evaluation exercise was conducted in schools that received computers and training from Camara Education in 2017. A sample of 80 schools from Ethiopia, Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia were randomly selected for the survey. Highlights of the main findings including length of computer access by learners, perception of educators and learners on the training, hardware and educational content provided by Camara Education are presented in the following sections.

Computer access by learners

In 2017, the average timetabled computer access by learners was 118 minutes per learner per week. This shows a 21% increase from 2016 and 29% increase from 2015. The longest access is reported from Tanzania with an average access time of 114 minutes per week per learner. This high level of usage from Tanzania can be related to the fact that 47% of the interviewed learners are in secondary level with higher level of computer usage than primary level learners. Reported access figures from Ethiopia have been shorter compared to other hubs for the past four years. This is mainly due to learners in Ethiopia accessing the computer labs outside teaching time rather than using the computers during their lessons.   

Capacity building for Educators

Camara Education trained 7,199 educators in 2017 alone on topics ranging from ICT Skillbuilder for Educators to 21st Century Leadership Programme. All training programmes share a common objective of integrating ICT in teaching and learning to improve quality of education. According to the results of the survey, 62% of Camara Education trained educators reported using computers to deliver presentations for learners, 57% higher than the non Camara Education educators. More Camara Education trained educators also reported using the computers to teach basic computers skills and help demonstrate lessons in their classrooms. The data, in general, indicate that the training provided by Camara Education has a positive impact in helping educators use the available technology for teaching and learning.


In terms of quality and reliability of computers provided to the schools, 84% of educators reported the computers have been reliable to use. This is 6% increase from the figure reported in 2016 reflecting an improvement in the reliability of the computers to schools.

Educational content

There are different educational software Camara Education instals on computers provided to schools depending on the local context and need. The software cover subjects including Maths, Science, literacy, ICT skills, Geography and History subjects. The results of our survey show that 89% of the surveyed educators believe these software are relevant to the learning needs of their learners, a 9% increase from what was reported in 2016. One of the reasons for increase in satisfaction rate is addition, in 2017, of software with localised educational contents in Ethiopia.  

Camara Education's Performace

The perception of school principals on the performance of Camara Education hubs is measured using a performance scorecard. Ten key performance areas identified by school principals are scored and aggregated to generate an overall performance score for each Education hub. The ten key performance areas are:

  • Attitude of Camara Education staff
  • Ease of communicating with Camara Education
  • Meeting agreed deadlines, Provision of quality support (e.g. maintenance)
  • Provision of relevant software
  • Provision of relevant training
  • Provision of reliable hardware
  • Timely resolution of problems you have had
  • Understanding your needs and value for money


According to the results, Camara Education scored 84% for its performance in 2017, an improvement of 2% from 2016 and 4% from 2015.


The survey highlighted that the satisfaction levels on Camara Education provided ICT resources and training are generally very good and have improved from the previous year. Despite the encouraging improvements observed across the different services that Camara Education provided, there are still areas that need to be improved in some of the hubs. Camara Education trained Educators capacity to use ICT resources for teaching basic computer skills needs to be strengthened. In addition, further studies need to be conducted in order to understand the relatively low satisfaction rates on reliability of computers and relevance of educational software in some hubs. Understanding these issues will help Camara Education improve the services and products it delivers to schools.  


The magic of ESB Creative Tech Fest

The magic of ESB Creative Tech Fest

November 1st saw the ESB Creative Tech Fest return to The Foundry at Google in Dublin. This is the national showcase of TechSpace creative education network managed by Camara Education Ireland. Over 300 young people aged between 10 and 18 from over 70 local youth clubs and groups were recognised for their project work in STEAM and Digital Media, and had the opportunity to engage in in workshops, talks and interactive exhibitions.  

18 year-old scientist and entrepreneur Ciara Judge, named by Time Magazine named in 2014 as one of the 25 most influential teens worldwide, was the key speaker at the event. Ciara inspired the young audience with her story, charting her short journey from winning the BT Young Scientist, the European Union Contest for Young Scientists and the Google Global Science Fair to becoming co-director of her first company, Germinaid Innovations, and her recent second startup PurchaseMate, while studying at MIT, Boston.

Speaking at the event Ciara said “I’m very excited to be speaking at this year’s ESB Creative Tech Fest because I believe that technology really is a game changer in creating a better world, and nobody understands that more than the youth of today”.

Tógra from Dingle Alli O’Mahoney, Máirtín Ó’Cathasaigh, Annie Lovisetto, Ciárán Mac Gearailt and Tríona ní Shúilleabhín pictured at ESB Creative Tech Fest – Picture Andres Poveda

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of the ESB, said “We are proud to support the work of TechSpace through our Generation Tomorrow programme, which supports organisations working to empower young people through STEAM learning initiatives.  ESB Creative Tech Fest is an incredible showcase of creativity and innovation from young people across the country, and highlights their potential to find creative solutions to the challenges they face today and will face in the future.”

Google Computer Science – Foróige TechSpaces celebrated their new Computer Science (CS) skills as part of a brand new project proudly sponsored by Google.org. Young people created stories in Google CS First coding workshops, and had the opportunity to invent with the BBC MicroBit and learn about Computer Science Careers for Girls, and enjoy a robot fashion show featuring the creations of young people attending the event.

Claire Conneely, Computer Science Education Program Manager was hugely impressed by the projects on display “For the third year running, Google is proud to be hosting more than 300 young people and educators from 70 youth clubs and schools across Ireland for Creative Tech Fest. I’m completely blown away by the level of creativity and technical skills shown by the young people today in their projects and exhibitions — with these critical skills for working and living in 21st century Ireland, they are sure to go places!”

The Irish language was at the heart of ESB Creative Tech Fest with bilingual workshops, awards, exhibits and live performances. Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Island, Seán Kyne T.D., emphasized the importance of offering young people the chance to express themselves creatively through their native language:

“ESB Creative Tech Fest is a wonderful annual event that gives young people the opportunity to express their creative ideas.  It encourages them and gives them confidence when using cutting-edge technology. The TechSpace project has clearly drawn much interest and attention, as this is the sixth year in a row that the annual event has been held.  I am delighted that Clár TechSpace is part of this magical event again this year and that my Department was able to fund the event. I would like to thank all those involved in TechSpace, as well as the schools and sponsors who have done great work to make this event happen today. “

Annie Lovisetto with fellow Tógra band members from Dingle pictured at ESB Creative Tech Fest – Picture Andres Poveda


Impacting Learners’ performance in Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (STEM) subjects in SNNPR, Ethiopia

Impacting Learners’ performance in STEM subjects in SNNPR, Ethiopia

On Friday October 26th, the Camara Education fully funded project called: “Impacting Learners’ performance in Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (STEM) subjects” had its official kick-off during a well-attended field visit in Silte Zone at the Worabe secondary school, in SNNPR, Ethiopia. Planning and Resource Mobilisation Directorate Director, School Improvement General Directorate Director, Directorate Director of Center for Education ICT (CEICT), and Sr. Expert  of M&E and Resource Mobilization were among the participants from the FDRE Ministry of Education. In addition, an Education Councillor from the Finnish Embassy, ICT Directorate Director form SNNPR Education Bureau, Silte Zone Education Office representatives, school directors, parents, teachers and learners participated in the programme.

Together with the SNNPR Education Bureau and Silte Zone education office, Camara Education is implementing a pilot project in 5 secondary schools in Silte Zone: Impacting learners’ performance in STEM (2018-2020).

With the implementation of the Impact Project, we aim to improve learners’ results in Science and Maths subjects, equip them in transitioning from Grade 10 to Grade 11 and assist learners in transitioning to science streams. However, the goals of this project do not stop with learners, but focuses on their respective leaders, teachers, and the education system itself.  

To achieve our goals, the Camara Learning Studio (CLS), powered by Kolibri, © Learning Equality, has been developed for the purpose of delivering Ethiopian curriculum aligned content, designing learning assessments, and tracking student progression throughout the duration of the project. In addition to granting access to the CLS, Camara Education will be conducting a ICT Skillbuilder for Educators Programme and the Camara Learning Studio Programme for Educators in order to support educators to integrate the learning platform into their teaching. Furthermore, we plan on providing ongoing educational support to teachers to aid in the integration of the programme. Additionally, the project will provide leadership training for school leaders, networking of the eLearning Centres, technical and maintenance support as well as ongoing monitoring & evaluation visits.

In continued partnership, Camara Education and the Ministry of Education have found inspiring new ways of working together to develop the Ethiopian education sector.

Camara Education is proud to be an ICT in Education leading organisation in Ethiopia and to count on the Ministry of Education’s support to deliver a successful and impactful project in the Ethiopian Secondary School System.

Pictured: Students and representatives from The Ethiopian Ministry of Education at Worabe Secondary School