Promoting education for marginalised girls across Tanzania
Partners: Camara Education Tanzania, President’s Office Regional Administration & Local Government (PORALG), Tanzanian Education Authority (TEA), UK Space Agency, Universal Communication Service Access Fund (UCSAF)
In rural Tanzania, young girls face cultural and social challenges every day, often missing out on education. Additionally, some girls have to walk up to 3 hours each way to attend school. This results in them missing out on vital education as they do not have time to study before or after school. Many of the students have aspirations to become doctors, teachers, and lawyers and are anxious to continue their education. Furthermore, the nationwide shortage of science teachers has also had an impact on the girls’ studies.
A school in Kagera have been working towards meeting the needs of these young marginalised girls. However, due to limited resources such as up-to-date textbooks and lack of broadband infrastructure, the girls were unable to access the latest educational materials required to catch up on their education.
The iKnowledge project, led by Avanti Communications, has deployed high-speed satellite broadband connectivity over 310 schools across Tanzania. The project provides ICT equipment, ICT and digital skills training for teachers and educational resources that is used in the classroom. Additionally, students have access to the computer labs to learn basic ICT skills and access eLearning platforms.
Today, the girls and their teachers can access the internet via Avanti’s HYLAS 2 Ka-band satellite, which provides 100% coverage over Tanzania. The broadband is installed and supported locally through Internet Service Providers (ISPs), whilst the ICT hardware, digital training and educational software are delivered in partnership with Avanti, Camara Education Tanzania, and Discovery Learning Alliance.
The iKnowledge programme is funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP).
Since being able to use satellite internet, the schools are now working with Tyndall University in Dublin to promote the Young Scientists Tanzania competition. The students use Skype to do joint experiments with the university. This also enables the students to communicate with other schools involved in the scheme.
Furthermore, an all-girls hostel has been built close to the school. The hostel allows the girls to live in the dormitory, dramatically reducing the amount of time they spend travelling to and from school. This enables the girls to study in the evening, giving them more time to complete homework and with access to the internet, can now access the online educational resources.
“iKnowledge helps us communicate with teachers in the UK and learn new ideas about making our school better, like PiXL and Young Scientist”
Renatus Kirway, English teacher in a school in Rubale Secondary School, Kagera