Solar Power / ICT impacts on Education in Sierra Leone


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Research presented at the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific Conference held at Victoria University, Melbourne, 2-4 December 2010.

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  • Solar Power / ICT impacts on Education in Sierra Leone

    1. 1. Improving Rural Education in Sierra Leone: <br />Understanding the Role of Small Scale Solar Power Installations and ICT Interventions <br />Paul Munro<br />University of Melbourne<br />Amé Christiansen<br />Victoria University<br />
    2. 2. Presentation Overview<br />Research Methodology<br />History of Education in Sierra Leone <br />Contemporary Education Challenges in Sierra Leone<br />EFO’s strategy and installations<br />The impacts of EFO’s work<br />Future Considerations<br />Photo: Kamabai School, Bombali District, Sierra Leone<br />
    3. 3. Methodology<br />Literature Review <br />Education policy documents and articles.<br />Quantitative <br />Education data collection and (preliminary) analysis.<br />Qualitative<br />8 Semi-Structured Interviews. <br />3 principals, 2 teachers, 1 school inspector, 1 student, and the District Education Director. <br />6 Focus Groups.<br />39 youth participants (Junior and Senior students; also young people not currently attending school).<br />Photo: St Martin’s Orphanage, Port Loko<br />
    4. 4. History of Education in Sierra Leone<br />Colonialism<br />Elite Education<br />“The Athens of Africa”<br />Independence<br />Patrimonial Rule<br />State Decline<br />President Joseph SaiduMomoh<br />“Education is a privilege, not a right” (1988)<br />Civil Conflict (1991-2001)<br />Photo: Fourah Bay College (University of Sierra Leone)<br />
    5. 5. Contemporary Issues<br />39% adult literacy. <br />55.2% never completed Junior Secondary School.<br />45.8% youth unemployment. <br />70.2% below the poverty line.<br />2010 Human Development Index Ranking: 158 / 169 countries.<br />Photo: DembeliaSinkuniaKoinadugu District<br />
    6. 6. Education Sector Challenges<br /><ul><li>General shortage of personnel
    7. 7. Untrained and unqualified teachers
    8. 8. Post-war reconstruction of infrastructure
    9. 9. 30% Increase in enrolments in the lead up to 2015 (EFA and MDG)
    10. 10. Gross gender disparities
    11. 11. Geographic parity: urban/rural divide
    12. 12. Finance deficits at both government and household level
    13. 13. Availability of necessary teaching and learning materials and resources
    14. 14. Monitoring and evaluation for accountability</li></ul>Source: Education Sector Plan 2007-2015 GoSL<br />
    15. 15. Why Solar Power and ICT?<br />ICT is an enabler of human capital<br />Human capital decreases unemployment <br />Employment reduces poverty <br />2% electrification in rural areas <br />Kerosene and candles<br />Poor quality of lighting<br />Significant expense<br />Hazardous <br />Photo: Partnership Project EFO, EWB and Princeton<br />
    16. 16. Education Programme Strategy<br />Phase I <br />Solar System installation- Lights<br />Phase II <br />ICT Installation- Computer/s and internet<br />Photo: Kamakwie classroom<br />
    17. 17. Bombali District<br />Kamakwie Senior Secondary<br />Phase I completed Feb 2010<br />Phase II completed May 2010<br />Kamabai Senior Secondary<br />Phase I completed Sept 2010<br />Phase II AusAID funding <br />Gbendembu Senior Secondary <br />Phase I AusAID funding <br />Photo: Independent Panels for study Lights Kamabai CCS allow for rent to buy<br />
    18. 18. Results: Performance Data – WASSCE (university entry) <br />Kamakwie <br />2009 - 5+ credits (2.1%)<br /> - 4+ credits (4.2%)<br />2010 - 5+ credits (2.75%),<br /> - 4+ credits (6.5%).<br />Baseline Data<br />Kamabai<br />2010 - 4+ credits (0%)<br />Gbendembu<br />2010 – 4+ credits (2.3%) <br />Studying at Night in Kamakwie<br />Other:<br />Bombali Urban<br />2010 - 5+ credits (4.5%)<br /> - 4+ credits (9.5%)<br />Sierra Leone (Freetown/Bo Bias)<br />2010 - 5+ credits (14%)<br />
    19. 19. Results: Performance Data – BECE (Senior School Entry) <br />
    20. 20. Benefits identified at four distinct levels:<br />System<br />Institution<br />Family<br />Student<br />In four distinct <br />Categories:<br />Financial<br />Administrative<br />Safety/Security<br />Academic <br />Results: Qualitative Analysis <br />Photo: Developing computer-based courseware at Kamakwie<br />
    21. 21. Education Sector Challenges Addressed by EFO’s installations<br /><ul><li>General shortage of personnel
    22. 22. Untrained and unqualified teachers
    23. 23. Post war reconstruction of infrastructure
    24. 24. 30% Increase in enrolments in the lead up to 2015 (EFA and MDG)
    25. 25. Gross gender disparities
    26. 26. Geographic parity: urban/rural divide
    27. 27. Finance deficits at both government and household level
    28. 28. Availability of necessary teaching and learning materials and resources
    29. 29. Monitoring and evaluation for accountability</li></ul>Solar and ICT Impact<br /><ul><li>Access to online and software education tools
    30. 30. Increased teacher preparation time
    31. 31. Computer knowledge = relevant workplace skills
    32. 32. Lift Status of the School</li></ul> - Previous reliance on expensive generators <br /><ul><li>Increased Safety
    33. 33. Increased hours during which classes could be held
    34. 34. Increased class flexibility
    35. 35. Improve facilities for record keeping</li></ul> - No major link<br /><ul><li>Comparative advantage
    36. 36. Attracting Teachers
    37. 37. Perception of quality
    38. 38. Saved School Expenditure
    39. 39. Revenue Raising
    40. 40. Saved Teacher Income
    41. 41. Saved Household Income
    42. 42. Computer based and online materials
    43. 43. Increased textbook access</li></ul>Photo: Idrissa completing the wiring at Kamabai Senior Secondary School<br />
    44. 44. We don’t have money to buy kerosene and moreover we have to feed (eat) and without food we cant study so the income that we usually put into light I spend on food and textbooks<br />Daniel K Amen (Senior student Kamakwie)<br />
    45. 45. “Immense, immense, immensely improved the status of the school for one. And even the academic part will actually gradually improve. We have bad results in the school. With the solar system, children will come in to study, teachers of course, using whatever equipment we have, especially computers if we have the opportunity to have them, will help the children to have more materials to study”<br />(Jnr School Principal Kamabai)<br />
    46. 46. Photo: Example of charges for computer services and course program at Orphfund Village in Kamakwie EFO/ FreeCollective/ Orphfund project<br />
    47. 47. Gender Disparity in Enrolments<br />
    48. 48. Lessons and Additional Considerations<br />Accountability where school’s increase revenue as a result of our projects<br />Online Security<br />Offline Education Resources- Preloaded Hard drives and USB<br />Targeting gender<br /> disparity with <br /> EFO interventions<br />
    49. 49. Thank You For Listening<br />