Computer Aid International and the Computer Society of Zimbabwe partnered to provide digital skills solutions to 10 government schools in Harare. Nine primary schools and one high school were selected by the Provincial Education Directors, under the Ministry of Education.
Each of the schools received 20 computers, 1 projector, 1 projector screen, 1 printer, 1 Connect Device, a free e-learner program for a period of one year, and ICDL training and certification for three teachers. The teachers are following the Computer Essentials, Online Essentials, Word Processing, Spreadsheets and ICT in Education modules.
Training started on July 15. Petros Basopo, the trainer, took the teachers through a presentation emphasising what the training would mean for the teachers, the schools and the students. Petros is a qualified teacher, trained in Cuba. He has been teaching for the past 18 years, with 8 years at Prince Edward School (a government/public school) and now 10 years at Hellenic Academy (a private school). He is a true educator and he spoke the language that the teachers understood.
The skills of the teachers were assessed before the training and they were split into two groups: one group comprised of teachers with very little computer knowledge, and a second group comprised those with basic computer skills.
All the teachers have testified that they are grasping the concepts after the training, and they confirm that this was different from any training they may have received before. There is a remarkable transformation in all the teachers in terms of digital skills.
To date, 14 teachers have taken Computer Essentials certification tests, while 13 have taken Word Processing tests. The results have been pleasing. There is continuous monitoring of the teachers at the schools to assess the impact that the whole training is having on the schools.
The funding organisation, SITA Foundation, is pleased with the project results to date, and they are considering adding a further module, the ICDL Presentation module. The success of the project could mean the rollout of similar projects to other parts of the country, as it has been noted that there is a great need for teacher training.