Providing Lesotho's Children with Keys to the World
This is the story of our efforts to end the vicious cycle of poverty, disease, inadequate education, and early death
in a remote rural community in Lesotho, Africa, by providing quality education and life skills
to the young children there. Join us on our journey ...
Part 2 of the report "Treasure of Laptops to Lesotho" written by Nohana Primary School Principal Matlabe Teba:
"Nohana Primary School is engaged in a campaign against HIV and AIDS. Lesotho has infection rate of 23%. In rural and poor societies like in Ketane the case is worse. We have decided to formulate a policy whose main objectives are:
- to reduce stigma
- promote self awareness amongst pupils and community
- encourage the regular use of ARV's.
Our motto is "Education is the best vaccination for HIV/AIDS."
We have more than hundred orphans in our school. Many of these orphans are infected when some are only affected. Some are still uner medication. This is the situation that made us engage serious in campaign against HIV/AIDS."
Laptops to Lesotho is trying to help Matlabe Teba and the Nohana Primary School combat HIV/AIDS in Ketane by providing educational materials about HIV/AIDS as well as improving the general education of all students in the area.
Excerpts from a report written by the principal of Nohana Primary School, Matlabe Teba:
Nohana Primary School is situated in Ketane in Mohale's Hoek district of Lesotho. Ketane is one of the most mountainous regions in Lesotho and also in Africa.
Majority of people staying in this region earn their living by working in the fields and by raising animals.
Because of its geographical features, means of communication and transport are very difficult. For instance, more than four-fifths of its villages are not accessible. The whole region is not connected to the internet, except only one government clinic.
In general, this is a technologically underdeveloped place, e.g. there are some villages whereby residents know nothing about cellular phone. Some residents have never seen and watched a television in their life. In some villages, majority of villagers have never seen a car. The same applies to the computers. This is the place where Nohana Primary School is located.
It is really true that these laptops are a treasure to our local community. We give great thanks to everyone who contributed to make this precious project success.
Teachers were equipped with basic computer skills.
Teachers started to train 24 student group leaders.
Teachers mobilised the pupils, community, local stakeholders and educational authorities.
Two teachers went to a one day training at Kliptown Youth Centre and Lilydale Primary School in Soweto.
Project leaders briefed Maseru Rotary Club members about our project.
All Nohana Primary School teachers got a three week school based training. My colleagues highly appreciated it. It encompasses laptop repairing, shelves fixing for computers, wiring and running generator. We got chance for practical activities that served as preliminary implementation of the project.
We formulated the regulations and contracts for teachers and parents. All these people would abide by their terms. This will guide us on how this mega treasure should be handled.
The next quantum leap was to make a work plan and schedule that classes 4, 5, 6, and 7 will be our target. Each class will have practical lesson twice a week. They can feel the presence of this treasure of Laptops to Lesotho, and also promote the sense of ownership.
We registered all 50 of these computers. This helps us to know and trace their movements.
We fixed burglar proofs in three rooms; one for computer lessons, another one for computer storage and charging and the last one for the generator.
To raise funds for the project, we have decided that our school's solar panel be used to charge cell phones and people pay as little as 30 cents per phone. This is used to buy fuel for the generator. We have also planned to have a concert once a session.
Our school's roll has increased from 314 to 374 pupils. Implementation of this computer projects has reduced the rate of absenteeism. It has also improved the learners behavior as they now compete to score points about good things they do at school so they can take laptop home. Pupils are excited and motivated. They are grasping very quickly. Some community members have also shown interest in learning. We are trying to fix a plan to accommodate them in the computer reaching learning programme.
My school gives great thanks to the people and companies that have been so instrumental from the planning up to the launching of this project.