Camara IN Zambia
Since commencing operations in 2009, Camara Zambia has supported over 1,800 schools across all 10 Provinces of the country. Whilst the initial work of the organisation was to supply computers to schools, our focus has evolved over the years so that we now offer holistic packages of products and services that support schools integrating ICT into education to improve outcomes for learners. This includes the provision of high-quality equipment, tailored educational resources that support curriculum delivery and contextually appropriate training for teachers as well as technical and e-waste support.
Camara Zambia and the Ministry of General Education in Zambia have enjoyed a long and successful relationship, working together to improve accessibility, learning and understanding of ICT within the Zambian Education Sector. With the support of the MOGE we have developed a model for the use of ICT in schools that supports both teachers and learners to develop their skills and benefit fully from the computers. By working in partnership with the MOGE and with school leadership teams, Camara Zambia strives to ensure that all students have the chance to develop their digital literacy skills and can benefit from the world of opportunities which is opened to them through the use of ICT.
The Zambia Team
Since its establishment, Camara Zambia has:
- Supported more than 1,800 schools
- Supplied over 13,500 computers
- Trained over 5400 teachers
- Impacted over 300,000 learners
Support Offered by Camara Zambia:
- E-Learning centre provision
- Educational content in line with Zambia’s Computer Studies curriculum
- Networking of computer labs and installation of servers with offline educational materials
- Technical and maintenance support
- E-Learning platforms for students and teachers
- ICT Capacity Development for school leaders and teachers
- Monitoring & Evaluation of outcomes
Since the introduction of Computer Studies as an examinable subject at Junior Secondary level in 2015, Camara Zambia has worked to help schools integrate ICT into learning and alleviate the challenges faced by many schools in delivering the computer studies curriculum. Two successful projects, implemented between 2015 and 2019, focused on supporting Junior Secondary level pupils by providing equipment, teacher training, curriculum-aligned educational content and technical support to over 300 schools.
During our most recently implemented ZamStem project, we were also able to develop Camara Learning Studio Zambia, an e-learning platform aimed at supporting learning for students. Camara Learning Studio provides educational content aligned to the local syllabus, along with interactive teaching and learning resources, assessments and student progress tracking, and real-time feedback for teachers. At present, Camara Learning Studio Zambia hosts open-source, curriculum-aligned content for Maths and Computer Studies at Junior Secondary level, but plans are in place to expand STEM subjects available on the platform across all grades.
Camara Learning Academy 2020 Pilot Project
In June 2020, we received funding to undertake a pilot study of Camara Learning Academy in Zambia. Camara Learning Academy (CLA) is an online training platform for educators which provides the opportunity for teachers to develop their ICT skills in their own time. CLA was intended to serve as an online entry point for introducing teachers to ICT and can also be used to provide further support following Camara’s face to face training. It was developed in consideration of teachers’ time constraints and the financial restraints on schools, which limit their ability to cover the cost of face-to-face training.
The project offers a great opportunity to offer capacity development to teachers when face-to-face training could not take place due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Under this pilot project, 100 teachers gained no-cost access to 10 ICT courses on CLA, as well as support with data bundles to enable them to complete the courses. Now in its final stages, the CLA pilot has not only provided teachers with the opportunity to develop their capacity but has also provided Camara with the necessary feedback to further improve the platform before it is made available for wider use in Zambia.
Evergreen College of Education
Mr Caleb Matanda is a Lecturer at Evergreen college of Education in Kitwe, Zambia. The college partnered with Camara Zambia in 2018.
“We did not have computers in the school before receiving the Camara computers. Computer Studies being a practical subject, it was very difficult for me to teach and it was also very hard for the students to learn. This is no longer the case since we now have computers in the school.
Previously, I just used to teach them theory and yet they were supposed to learn both theory and practical aspects of Computer Studies. The students’ performance has improved in ICT and other subjects as well. We are very grateful to Camara for having provided our school with the computers. They should continue with the work they are doing as many schools in Zambia are in serious need of computers.”
Caleb Matanda, Lecturer, Evergreen college
Chinyanja Primary School
Chinyanja Primary school is located in the Chilanga district of Lusaka Province, Zambia, and is one of the schools that received computers from Camara Zambia in 2019 as part of the ZamSTEM Project. In 2020, the school total enrolment was 766 (383 boys and 383 girls), with 19 teachers. Two school leaders received training in school leadership, two Computer Studies teachers undertook Computer Studies training, and six teachers of other subjects completed ICT Skill Builder training.
Treasure Nakamba is 14 years old and in Grade 9
“I feel good using these computers. Before we received them, the teacher used to just come with her laptop in class when learning Computer Studies, and she would put us in groups of five to use the laptop. It was not easy to learn Computer Studies but now we sit one on each computer and we are allowed to come to the computer lab in our free time to come and practice.”
Nixon Ndlovu is also a Grade 9 student at Chinyanja Primary
“I feel very happy that we now have computers in our school. We did not have any before we received these ones from Camara. Before I came to this school, I never knew how to use a computer. At my former school, we did not have computers, but we have many at this school, even kids can operate them when they are learning. The computers are helping me learn Computer Studies better than before and the skills I’m getting will make my job easier as an accountant. I like using the productive tools, including Microsoft Word and Excel. As an accountant, I’ll be able to do calculations using Excel and also prepare accounting documents using different softwares on the computers. I would like to say thank you to the people who donated the computers to our school.”
Mr Clifford Chirwa is the headteacher at Chinyanja Primary
“Last year we struggled to conduct the Computer Studies practicals for the final exams. I had to borrow laptops and computers from teachers and community members. I ended up going back to the previous school where I was headteacher before coming here where they managed to lend us 3 computers. Receiving these computers has been a solution to the biggest problem the school was facing. Thank you very much Camara for these computers for our school. We will take good care of them and we hope other schools will benefit from this kind of support.”