Samsung Electronics East Africa has launched a Solar Powered Internet School (SPIS) at GS Kamabare School in Bugesera District, Rwanda, and a Smart School at GS Gashaki in Musanze, a move geared towards helping school going children get easy access to modern technology.
Another objective is providing a technology-rich learning and teaching environment in Rwandan schools that will propel students to pursue innovative solutions to drive the growth of the East African nation.
The programme focuses on the deployment of ICT infrastructure, professional development of educators, content development and management, school administration and management as well as sharing best practices in the integration of ICTs in enhancing learning and teaching in the classroom.
Among the ICTs in the SPIS is a 40-foot shipping container equipped with 25 Galaxy tablets, a multi-purpose Samsung printer, a 50-inch electronic board, a server, internet and solar panels.
These devices are optimised for use in a solar-powered environment.
Samsung vice president for East and Central Africa Robert Ngeru said the schools are built for use in remote rural areas with little or no electricity and are easily transportable via truck.
“The foldaway solar panels provide enough energy to power the classroom’s equipment for up to nine hours a day. The solar-panels are made from rubber instead of glass to ensure they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent,” he said.
As for the Smart Schools in rural areas connected to the national grid, the arrangement involves the host school providing a secure classroom that will be equipped by Samsung with the Galaxy tablets, e-board, servers and internet.
Samsung has partnered with Intel to provide pre-installed educational content on the servers. In addition to this, the local curriculum used in Rwanda will also be installed
Dr Vincent Biruta, the minister for education, said the donation by Samsung helped encourage other private sector players to partner with the government in promoting quality education and overcoming challenges facing the education sector in the country.
“Overcoming these challenges requires public and private institutions to work together in seeking relevant solutions. The quality of students that will graduate from our education system will also reflect on the kind of staff the private sector will be employing,” he said.