Camara in Tanzania
Camara Tanzania is based in Dar Es Salaam at Engaruka Street, Kurasini, near immigration headquarters. Currently, we have seven employees and one volunteer, and we normally receive 2-5 interns between July and October from different universities across the country. The team is headed up by Dayani Mbowe.
In our local warehouse, we receive and process refurbished computers and install operating systems as well as offline educational resources tailored to local needs. Most schools in Tanzania have no internet connection, so offline educational resources are a vital component of our offering. Camara Education Tanzania is a self-sustaining, not-for-profit social enterprise, locally managed and run.
Since commencing operations in 2012, Camara Education Tanzania has evolved to become a leader in providing sustainable ICT in education, and our efforts have benefitted over 150,000 students in more than 500 schools. We currently work with schools and educational institutions in 30 regions of the country to provide a holistic package of products and services aimed at progressing schools through a journey of integrating ICT to improve measured educational outcomes.
For us, hardware and computer labs on their own are not enough. Capacity building of youths, teachers and school leaders to support the integration of ICT into teaching and learning has become a primary focus. We are committed to providing schools with the content and skills required to ensure all students have the opportunity to receive a quality education.
Among our current projects are Discover Learning, which targets young adolescents aged 10-11, KitKit, in which we are working with the government and the Tanzania Institute of Education to pilot a tablet-based programme to improve literacy and numeracy, and the UCDVO project involving volunteers from University College Dublin helping to train teachers in remote areas.
The iKnowledge project advanced teachers’ digital literacy and understanding through a sustainable training model of ‘Train the Trainers’. The project’s aim was to Connect, Deliver, Train and Sustain 300 public schools in the Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.
The iKnowledge project provided a platform of ICT-related interventions to 100 primary and 200 secondary schools across Tanzania. These interventions included the provision of internet connectivity, ICT devices, relevant educational content, and capacity building for teachers to use ICT in their teaching.
- CONNECT Connecting Schools with broadband internet and WiFi
- DELIVER Open the network to service and content providers for delivery into the classroom
- TRAIN Provide teachers with training and support to take advantage of the ICT facilities in the classroom
- SUSTAIN Establish mechanisms to ensure operational sustainability by using the infrastructure to generate income for schools
“I would like to say thanks for Camara. They’ve helped us read many books and learn how to speak English.”
Debrabant High School
Jamila Mbegumoja is in form five at Debrabant High School in Mbagala Saku, Dar es Salaam. She started using Camara computers in 2014, when she was 15 years old and in form one. Before this she had never used a computer, and she tells us that it was very challenging for her at first as she didn’t even know how to switch the machine on, but thanks to the Camara computers installed in her school she has been able to acquire digital skills, and in particular has learnt to code using Scratch. Her future plan is to become a high school teacher.
Laurencia Isack is a 17-year-old student at Debrabant. She lives in Kijichi and takes the bus to school every day. This is what she has to say about the school’s new e-Learning centre.
“The e-Learning centre has raised the standard of learning with the availabilty of extra information using Wikipedia and other programmes. I’m learning geography, history and literature through the use of Wikipedia for Schools and using it for doing different assignments given by teachers. I am also planning to use it for the coming project next year. Material loaded in the Camara computers can help me pass my exams and I have acquired ICT skills which could help me get employment in the future. I hope to continue studying and have a good career in the future.”
Jamila Mbegumoja, Debrabant High School
The Electrification of Zeze Secondary School
“Before our satellite was installed, Zeze school was cut off by poor connectivity, but now, thanks to iKnowledge we can share ideas with schools from all over the world” Joseph Mabuye, Headmaster, Zeze Secondary School, Kigoma.
Zeze Secondary School, a school located in its namesake village (Zeze) in Kasulu District, Kigoma, was among many schools in rural Western Tanzania that lacked network infrastructure and electricity. As a result, the school had no access to ICT. Teachers and students at Zeze Secondary School were unable to access online learning hindering the pupils’ learning opportunities and future employability.
Furthermore, the absence of electricity and sufficient lighting in the evening in the village meant students had difficulties with completing homework assignments and revision, further affecting educational progression.
In 2015, the iKnowledge project provided ICT hardware, digital training and educational software, a task undertaken by Camara Education Tanzania. The aim was to advance teachers’ digital literacy and understanding. The project also provided educational content for teachers to apply straight into their classrooms, greatly improving educational engagement with students.
The project deployed high-speed broadband connectivity via satellite and provided wireless internet access to the schools involved. Students and teachers access the internet via Avanti’s HYLAS 2 Ka-band satellite, which provides 100% coverage of Tanzania. The broadband was installed and supported locally through Internet Service Provider Infinity Africa.
Solar power was also installed in the school as an alternative energy source. This was possible through a fundraising event conducted by the Tanzania Development Trust, which raised enough funds for the procurement and installation of solar power.
Zeze Secondary School now has reliable internet connectivity, allowing students and teachers to access up-to-date educational content online, as well as being able to use the connectivity for communication via Skype with other schools worldwide.
The teachers and students can now take part in international education conferences. Recently they attended a conference that was hosted in London, remotely via Skype. Through the conference, they were able to share ideas for school improvement with other schools across the world, such as Brazil and Bangladesh.
Students also benefit from the solar panels, as they provide lighting for them to study and revise for exams in the evening.
KitKit Project - Twiga Primary School
“My names are Agness Aidan Semaganga, from Twiga primary school, located in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. I am from the department of students with disabilities, teaching sign language, numeracy and literacy skills to students with hearing disabilities.
We were delighted to receive the KitKit project at our school because this was a golden chance for my students – students with hearing disabilities understand more by looking at pictures and videos.
Before the implementation of the project I and my fellow teachers were given a one week workshop which introduced us to KitKit. From this workshop, I gained all the necessary skills required to manage KitKit sessions and assist students on how to use KitKit. Now that the sessions have begun in classes, I am confident to manage the class and assist students whenever they have a problem. This wouldn’t be possible without the workshop.”