Effective use of technology at school is advancing education across the globe. However, lack of electricity and non-availability to electronic devices in our areas creates considerable obstacles for our learners to achieve their full potential. In partnership with The Delta, as a pilot project for rural schools, we set up the Bulungula Tech Centre— a low-cost tech centre equipped with 16 computer stations.
Due to electricity and budget constraints, the Bulungula Tech Centre connects Raspberry Pi’s (RPi), cost-effective, energy-efficient computers, to a central server. This technology effectively runs on the Bulungula College solar system, with a total set up cost of R75 000. To further reduce costs, we are using Kolibri, a free offline digital-learning platform developed by the Learning Equality Foundation, as well as shared folders across a local network so that learners are able to access downloaded material, without burdening the school with accrued data costs.
The Bulungula Tech Centre will provide learners with online resources to supplement their school curricula, provide online training to unemployed youth (especially our Job Skills Entrepreneurial Programme learners), allow learners to apply for tertiary education & NSFAS, and to provide computer literacy to both JSEP learners and community members during holiday periods. We are excited to plug into the endless opportunities of the Bulungula Tech Centre, and believe it will enhance our community’s ability to learn, and promote lifelong learning!
The Bulungula Tech Centre was spearheaded by a team of dedicated volunteers. Enkos’ kakhulu to Zak Essa, Ryan Anderson, Claude Formanek, Callum Tillbury, Nic Reid, Jono Hart and Nina Formanek. To find out more information about how to replicate this project in your community, contact Zak Essa, at firstname.lastname@example.org