Ifwagi Secondary School is a government school located in Mufindi, in the Iringa region of the Tanzanian Southern Highlands. It has more than 200 students from form one to form four. The school has a good environment for students to learn and succeed in their dreams.
Camara Education Tanzania has been working with long-term partner, Lyra in Africa, a local NGO, to set up an e-Learning centre and ICT club in this school. While Camara carried out the installation, provided training for teachers and students, and loaded our content onto the computers, Lyra provided funding and have also constructed a girls’ hostel at the school. Together, these initiatives help overcome many of the barriers preventing girls continuing in education. The 90 girls accommodated in the hostel will be able to use the computers after school hours, to do their homework every evening, and at weekends. The project addresses the digital divide and the lack of ICT skills amongst disadvantaged girls, which hinders not only their academic performance but also their future employment opportunities.
In the e-Learning centre we installed 20 desktop computers networked to a local classroom server. Each computer is loaded with offline educational apps, tools and resources covering different subjects. In addition, the classroom server in the centre is loaded with the Camara portal which contains more than 5000 videos, over 3000 educational articles, digital books aligned to the curriculum and hundreds of ICT videos for students. Students access the portal from their computers and the portal can track what content they are consuming as well as how much time they spend on it.
This monitoring allows teachers, school administrators, Camara and other stakeholders to understand exactly what the computers are being used for, when and for how long. This helps us understand what improvements we can make to our content and what support should be provided to teachers and students.
Camara trained 20 teachers for 5 days, covering everything from basic ICT to the integration of ICT in teaching and learning. Teachers will be able to add their own content on the portal, assign students tasks and track their progress. Students have also been trained in how to utilise the resources on computers.
The ICT club makes the centre available out of school hours and allows students to develop more in-depth digital skills such as coding and design. Digital mentors will provide support and facilitate club sessions, encouraging girls especially to acquire vital ICT skills.