Helios Towers is a leading multinational independent telecommunications infrastructure company, focused on driving the growth of mobile communications across Africa and the Middle East. As the leading independent towerco in Tanzania, Helios Towers Tanzania supports mobile operators as they expand their coverage across the country.
Last year, Helios Towers Tanzania donated computers and funded Camara Education Tanzania to set up an eLearning Centre at Kurasini Secondary School in Dar es Salaam. The success of that project has led Helios to commit to supporting at least one more school a year in the future: the centre at Mkwajuni Secondary School in Zanzibar was completed in time for the new school year in September 2023; a centre at Mzumbe Secondary School in Morogoro region will become operational later this year.
As ever, Camara’s contribution involved much more than installing the networked computer lab – at Mkwajuni we provided a broad range of locally-appropriate learning materials and conducted an intensive 5-day training program for school leaders, teachers and students. This training initiative was a transformative experience, equipping a total of 27 dedicated teachers and 7 school leaders with the skills necessary to effectively manage their classrooms, create educational materials and confidently navigate the digital realm. 45 students also took part, learning how to leverage computers to enhance their learning, acquire essential digital skills, and explore the endless possibilities offered by the digital age. These skills will be passed on to their peers.
The grand unveiling of the computer lab at Mkwajuni school was graced by the presence of Tom Greenwood, Group Chief Executive of Helios Towers, and the Head of the ICT Training Department from the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar, Sadiq Makanyaga.
Tom Greenwood delivered an inspiring message to the students, encouraging them to embrace a lifelong journey of learning and to dare to dream big. He underlined that their potential was boundless, with the power to become engineers, doctors, athletes, or anything they aspired to be. Furthermore, he urged them to harness these computers as tools for their personal growth and transformation.
In a parallel context, Sadiq Makanyaga, Head of the ICT Training Department, emphasized the pivotal role of teachers in ushering in this educational transformation. He pledged continued support and ongoing training for educators to streamline and enhance the teaching process. Mr Makanyaga expressed a strong desire for teachers to shift away from traditional teaching aids such as blackboards and chalk, noting the success of smart classrooms in many other countries.
And this is what a couple of the students at Helios schools had to say:
“Experiencing a computer for the first time was like stepping into a whole new world. I had never touched a computer before, and to be honest, I was a bit nervous. But the teachers and Camara Team guided us patiently, showing us how to navigate the system and use basic applications. As I started exploring, I was amazed by the vast amount of information and learning resources available. The computer became a window to a world of knowledge that I had never seen before. It opened my eyes to new possibilities, and I’m excited to continue learning and exploring with this incredible tool”
“Receiving the computers has changed the way I approach learning and problem-solving. Before, I struggled with accessing the latest information for my science and history projects, but now, I feel more confident and informed. Computers have opened up a world of knowledge that has inspired me to delve deeper into various subjects and expand my horizons.