Camara Education Business Development Manager, Mark Fox, with the Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, TD during the launch of National Reuse Month

Do you have computers in your company or at home that you no longer need?

Camara Education is taking part in the national campaign ‘Reuse Month’, which will run throughout October in Ireland. The campaign was launched last week by the Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, TD in Dublin, Ireland.

Camara Education Business Development Manager, Mark Fox, with the Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, TD during the launch of National Reuse Month
Camara Education Business Development Manager, Mark Fox, with the Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, TD during the launch of National Reuse Month

National Reuse Month is a new waste prevention initiative to raise awareness about the economic and environmental benefits of reusing everyday items such as replaced computer equipment that would otherwise be scrapped.  

Camara Education is reducing the carbon footprints of organisations and individuals every day. We receive used computers that would have been put beyond reuse and recycled and instead extend the life of these computers through a refurbishment process. Why do this?  

70% of the energy that a typical desktop will use during its lifetime is consumed when it is manufactured  – equivalent to 300 kgs of CO2 for a laptop and 300 kgs for a flat screen monitor. So it makes more environmental sense to extend the life of desktops, laptops and flat screen monitors by donating them to Camara.

 

Camara Education process donated computers from organisations and individuals for refurbishment and reuse in schools around the world. The computers are brought to Camara to be tested and refurbished. All hard drives are erased using a US Department of Defence (DoD 5220.22-M) and NIST 800-88 compliant program that operates on a firmware level, making it impossible to retrieve any data. If the hard drive fails during the wipe it is physically removed, degaussed and crushed. Every donor receives a certificate listing the make, model and serial of all hard drives that were erased and all items received.

Camara Education Business Development Manager, Mark Fox, at the launch of National Reuse Month in Ireland
Camara Education Business Development Manager, Mark Fox, at the launch of National Reuse Month in Ireland

After refurbishment, these computers are shipped to one of our Education Hubs in Africa or Ireland, and they are used to improve educational outcomes of students from disadvantaged communities in Kenya, Zambia, Ireland, Tanzania, Lesotho and Ethiopia. Camara believes that quality education and youth empowerment are the greatest tools to alleviate poverty.

Since 2005, Camara Education has shipped 80,000 computers to its Educational Hubs. That is equivalent to the deferral of the release of over 30,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

You can drop off your computer equipment free of charge. We are located in Chapelizod Industrial Estate, Dublin 20 (map), Ireland. Our opening hours are 09.00-17.00 from Monday to Friday. We also offer nationwide collection service for companies. A collection fee applies.

 

 

 

Students at Ganjoni Primary School, Kenya.Photo Credit: Denise Calnan

How iMlango and Maths-Whizz are transforming education in Kenya

By INdzai Amani Ishmael, Trainer at Camara Kenya

Most African schools are lying in a state of poverty with the majority of pupils and parents living on half a dollar each day. This means that things like education are beyond their means. For the schools to acquire a technology-aided education is like building a castle in the air. Therefore, when the iMlango Project came in to help schools across the four counties in Kenya, it was a big boost not only for the schools but also for the government, as computers for schools project was within its manifesto.

Maths-Whizz, the main educational software used by the iMlango project, has been giving out powerful results as observed by trainers doing field work and performing refresher training. The thinking ability of pupils is rising, hence enabling them to perform more positively in their examinations. After the refresher training, many teachers expressed their gratitude for the software as it became their main saviour in terms of organising their daily duties, not just in maths  but also other subjects like literacy, science, social studies and so forth.

Students at Ganjoni Primary School, Kenya.Photo Credit: Denise Calnan
Students at Ganjoni Primary School, Kenya. Photo Credit: Denise Calnan

Targeting the whole school from class one to class eight, iMlango has generated an overwhelmingly positive result by transforming the lives of thousands of pupils in all the Kenyan counties involved in the iMlango project i.e. Kajiado, Kilifi, Makueni and Uasingishu. Another factor that helps to boost these schools is the introduction of projectors and internet. Projectors are the main proprietors which enable teachers to deliver whole class learning, making their job easier.

Most pupils don’t want to move out of the computer lab as they find it more interesting playing with the computers than to go outside to play football or other physical games. This is showing how effective the project is on the ground. Not only are the children excited by the project but the teachers in all the counties are positively affected also. Most teachers are getting the experience of working with computers for the first time. The introduction of the internet and the special training for them had a major impact.

Koiluget Primary School is in Uasin Gishu county. Here the teachers were able to help all the students complete their assessments as they saw the importance of Maths-Whizz in their school, teachers like Madam Beth Waweru who is in charge of the computer lab. Madam Wareru speaks of the enthusiasm of the pupils as they see the animation, and when using computers for the first time.

Students at Ganjoni Primary School, Kenya. Photo Credit: Denise Calnan
Students at Ganjoni Primary School, Kenya. Photo Credit: Denise Calnan

 

Madam Beth saw an improvement of Maths grades in their school and how easy it was for the pupils to do Maths. It also makes teaching easier as teachers use the ‘wholeclass’ teacher resources. There has been a number of newcomers in the school, absenteeism is no longer an issue and Maths is fun both to the teachers and students.

Now teachers are organised digitally and the programme has made learning realistic and customised to the level of learners. Students are being exposed to ICT and interest has been created to continue working with the devices especially with the Maths-Whizz programme.

 

 

Learn more about Math-Whizz here

Assay School, Addis, Ethiopia

World Humanitarian Day 2016: Empowering Communities With Education

Today marks World Humanitarian Day, an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering of poverty-stricken people around the world, to promote empowering stories and honour those around the globe who have helped to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged people.

World Bank data estimates the number of people living on under $1.25 a day at well over 1 billion worldwide. About half of Sub-Saharan Africans live on under $1.25 a day. A substantial proportion live just above this line. Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day, with nearly three-quarters of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa falling into this category.

At these levels of poverty, most income is spent on food. There is little ownership of productive assets and access to TV and radio is often very limited, as is access to electricity, water and sanitation. Accompanying this situation is poor health, poor education, unpredictability and risk.

In the developing world, poverty and the issues that surround it are the immediate focus for individuals. With such focus, human capital development and values enhancement are not able to flourish, and so living standards do not improve significantly. Camara Education believes the world would be a better place if all young people were empowered through innovative education to create the life they want to lead.

Assay School, Addis, Ethiopia
Assay School, Addis, Ethiopia

Education is one of the most significant drivers to help overcome this situation. There are many studies and observations demonstrating the link between education and an escape from poverty, and there are many ways to address access to and improvement in education. But the most significant challenge is delivering scale improvement in education in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.

Education is a basic human right, but resources for schools are sometimes extremely limited. In an age that is more digital than ever before, we have an opportunity to act together as global citizens. Everyday extraordinary things can happen when ordinary people decide to take action. Camara Education provides schools with computers and the relevant training to help create a fun and interactive classroom experience like never seen before by the students.

Challenges still remain e.g. there are rural schools that lack electricity or basic internet access, but we are working to overcome these barriers and provide better education platforms for those in disadvantaged communities. Limited access to educational excellence and innovation narrows the life chances of young people in many countries, most notably in Africa. Camara helps to unlock the potential of young people by working with governments, ministries of education, and other educational experts to help deliver to both schools and teachers in communities around the world. It delivers support, information, and technology to promote change and improvement in education to enable young people to attain better grades.

Camara Education is a non-profit international organisation dedicated to using technology to improve education and livelihood skills in disadvantaged communities around the world. It currently operates six Education Hubs in Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Lesotho, Tanzania) and one in Ireland. With better education we expect these communities to break the cycle of poverty they find themselves in.

Since 2005, Camara has raised and generated €20m, trained 24,000 teachers across 4,000 eLearning Centres, and installed 80,000 computers, enabling 1,800,000 children to improve their educational outcomes, including the attainment of better grades.

Highlights from Camara Education’s 2016 Monitoring & Evaluation Survey

As part of the current strategic plan, Camara Education conducts an annual M&E exercise in order to assess the relevance, effectiveness, and impact of activities it carries out.

The main purpose of the M&E exercise is to provide accurate information on the educational impact of Camara’s activities. Through Monitoring and Evaluation, Camara is able to measure the progress made in the performance of the Camara Hubs and the changes in satisfaction level of school leaders, teachers and students in relation to Camara provided ICT equipment, training and support.

Percentage of total schools surveyed per country
Percentage of total schools surveyed per country

 

This year, the M&E exercise was conducted in schools that received Camara ICT equipment and training in 2014. In the process, 86 school management representatives, 260 teachers and 1,513 students were interviewed from partner schools in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The schools were selected based on criteria including location (urban, peri-urban, and rural), the level of school (primary, secondary), ownership type (Government, private, etc.), and gender of students taught (female, male or mixed). 

The data gathered include perceptions on the performance of Camara hubs, the overall satisfaction levels of school leaders, the utilisation of the ICT resources for teaching, and the effects students feel the computers have on their learning, amongst other indicators.

 

Partner Satisfaction

This section focus on the reported levels of satisfaction amongst Camara’s education partners, and the changes from last year to this year. When it comes to Camara Hub’s performance, as reported by school leaders, the average score is 80% against 77% in the previous year. This is a total score based on a range of indicators of satisfaction levels, such as reliability of hardware and relevance of training. As such, it provides an accurate overview of satisfaction levels. 

Results of each area, comparing 2014 to 2015

The ‘attitude of Camara staff’ and ‘ease of communicating with Camara hubs’ are the highest scoring performance areas. These two high scores indicate that school management is generally happy with the way Camara staff conduct themselves and communicate with schools.

Students Satisfaction Levels on Camara Provided Computers

In addition to teachers and school representatives, students were also asked about their perception of the Camara provided ICT equipment. The chart below shows the results of the questions asked. The aggregated score is a combination of students responding either ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ to the statements. As can be seen, students reported high levels of satisfaction with using the Camara provided computers for their learning.

Overall, 92% of school leaders reported having a positive experience with Camara and there is a positive trend across the surveyed countries in terms of school leader reported performance of Camara hubs and satisfaction level of school representatives, teachers and students.

ICT Integration

An important area for achieving positive change in education through ICT is effective integration into teaching and learning. Therefore, teachers and school leaders were asked about the integration of ICT into teaching and learning following engagement with Camara and whether these outcomes have been positive for them. The chart below shows the results of some the most important outcomes in relation to ICT integration into teaching and learning.

Perceptions of Outcomes on Camara provided ICT equipment and Training

To sum up, the results of the M&E exercise indicate that the Camara provided ICT equipment and training continue to positively impact the teaching and learning process in partner schools.

Camara’s Ten Year Impact

Since 2005, Camara has raised and generated €20m, trained 24,000 teachers across 4,000 eLearning Centres, and installed 80,000 computers, enabling 1,800,000 children to improve their educational outcomes, including the attainment of better grades.

Camara Education 2015 in numbers
Camara Education 2015 in numbers

Compared to 2014, the number of computers distributed increased by 6%,  the number of teachers trained increased by 46% and the number of impacted students increased by 6%.

Students at Kipawa Libermann Pre _ Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

International Youth Day 2016

Today marks International Youth Day, a day where we can focus on inspiring and empowering a young generation around the world. There is a greater need more than ever to invest in youth today. This year, International Youth Day is about achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Camara Education is playing its role and working towards Goal #4 – Quality Education. Camara believes the world would be a better place if all young people were empowered through innovative education to create the life they want to lead.

Students at Kipawa Libermann Pre _ Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Students at Kipawa Libermann Pre-Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Limited access to educational excellence and innovation narrows the life chances of young people in many countries, most notably in Africa. Camara helps to unlock the potential of young people by working with governments, ministries of education, and other educational experts to help deliver to both schools and teachers in communities around the world. It delivers support, information, and technology to promote change and improvement in education to enable young people to attain better grades.

Education is a basic human right. But resources for schools are sometimes extremely limited. Camara provides schools with computers and the relevant training to help improve the education experience and to help communities access the digital economy. Through education, we believe it is possible to increase living standards. There are many studies and observations demonstrating the link between education and escape from poverty, and there are many ways to address access to and improvement in education.

Camara is dedicated to providing equal learning opportunities to children in disadvantaged communities around the world. We aim to empower and inspire the next generation of youths to fulfil their potential through the use of technology. By providing digital learning platforms for children in these communities we can open up a whole new world of information and help the youth of tomorrow fulfil their potential.

By using technology to simplify learning in the classroom, we can help build confidence and skills in our youth and give them the tools to be leaders and role models in their community. Every child is entitled to an education, we are working to provide a brighter future for those who need it most. By doing so we are giving youth a voice and the proper tools for them to develop and be able to educate those in their community.

The children in these countries are brimming with potential and we need to continue to support and enhance the abilities of our younger generation for future success. Together we can all make a difference in youth and skill development and work towards creating a more sustainable future for all.

Since 2005, Camara has raised and generated €20m, trained 24,000 teachers across 4,000 eLearning Centres, and installed 80,000 computers, enabling 1,800,000 children to improve their educational outcomes, including the attainment of better grades.