Students at a Business and Enterprise Specialist Status School in Somerset, UK are donating 100 second hand computers to a partner school in Ghana. Preston School, whose motto is “Excellence for All” are shipping the PCs to Harkmount Sinai Senior High School in Akropong, about 40 miles north of Accra. The shipment left the UK on Friday 11th May 2012.
The relationship came about when another school in Somerset, Whitstone, began a partnership in 2006 with Okuapemman School, also in Akropong. Harkmount Sinai heard of this alliance and asked if a UK partner school could be found for them and Whitstone invited Preston to be involved. They worked on an enterprise project together as a group of 4 schools (called the SWOP project) but this was on a relatively small scale.
It was only when Collins Oteng, international coordinator at Harkmount Sinai came to visit Preston in December 2010 did the partnership really take off. Later both Preston’s Principal, Mr Tony Bloxham and Head of the School of Global Understanding Department, Jonathan Peace visited Harkmount Sinai in 2011 and they both saw at first hand the limited ICT provision that existed.
Mr Peace said “There was one small room of 12 non-networked PCs for 1,200 students and we knew that we could provide them with the machines we were about to recycle. We have since contacted Vodafone Ghana in an attempt to help provide the school with reliable Internet access. There is now a building programme underway for computer rooms at the school.”
He added “We are all very excited about this branch of our work with our partner school. There is a real buzz about the container and the fact that we can track where the ship is at any time seems to make it more real. The container held 100 recycled PC units plus screens and printers and resources to enable them all to be networked. We also included some tables and chairs which are surplus to requirement following our canteen refurbishment.”
The partnership between the two schools looks to be a long term venture.
Mr Peace – “We have 2 staff from Ghana coming to visit us from 23rd to 30th June and then 2 of our staff doing a reciprocal visit the following week. They intend to conduct cross-curricular projects in both schools as well as immerse themselves in the relevant cultures. A trip with students is planned for February 2013 with Ghanaian staff and students returning here in October 2013.”
The estimated time of arrival for the shipment in Ghana is 4th June 2012.
If you would like your school or organisation to get involved with a similar scheme by giving used PCs & laptops to Africa please visit Computers4Africa.