News Column

Samsung Electronics launches first solar-run Internet school

May 7, 2014

Mark Okutta, -1

Samsung Electronics East Africa has launched the first Solar Powered Internet School (SPIS) in Rwanda.

The facility has been installed at GS Kamabare School in Bugesera District, and will help learners to access modern technology in education.

The programme focuses on deployment of information technology infrastructure, teacher training, content development and management, school administration as well as sharing best practices in the integration of ICTs in the sector.

Samsung aims to reach more than 2.5 million students in Africa with the programme by 2015.

The SPIS is a 40-foot shipping container that Samsung equips with 24 tablet computers plus one for a teacher, a multi-purpose Samsung printer, a 50-inch electronic board, a server, Internet and the solar panels.

All these devices are optimised for use in a solar-powered environment.

Samsung vice president for East and Central Africa Robert Ngeru said that the schools are built in remote rural areas with little or no electricity connectivity and are easy to transport by trucks.

"The fold-away 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.

The e-board allows for virtual collaboration between and among educators as well as learners in different locations.

It can run video conferencing, access the Internet, and connect to the tablet computers in the container, providing an amazing learning and teaching experience.

In rural areas connected to electricity, Samsung will install Smart Schools. The host institution provides a secure classroom to be equipped with Samsung tablets, e-board, servers and Internet. One such Smart School is at GS Gashaki School in Musanze District.

Samsung has also partnered with Intel to pre-install content in the tablets, though talks between the firm and the Ministry of Education to instal school curriculum continue.

"Overcoming these challenges requires public and private institutions to work together in seeking relevant solutions," said Rwandan Education minister Vincent Biruta.

"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."

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Business Daily (Kenya)

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