Teachers everywhere invest their own money and much of their free time in efforts to ensure their students succeed. Whether buying supplies and snacks for students who can't afford them or devoting their evenings, weekends and hard-earned vacation time to designing lesson plans, writing curriculum and grading assignments, many teachers sacrifice a great deal to help their students realize their own potential.
In Meru, Kenya, where Technology Partnership works, a group of teachers is doing all this and supporting their community of fellow educators by training other teachers on how to use computers in the classroom. Our local Leadership Team, made up of teachers who have taken the computer trainings led by our U.S. Director, Barbara Bates, is empowered, skilled and highly dedicated to the cause of bringing teaching and learning standards in Meru and in Kenya into the 21st century. They volunteer their time to conduct trainings, based on the Intel TEACH curriculum Barb has been using for the past several years, and provide guidance, mentorship and support to teachers in the community as they learn how to integrate new technology into their classroom routines.
Our Leadership Team members have decided it is worth it to add technology training to the long list of things they do to help their students and their community because they have seen how powerfully computers can change the whole culture of education. As our Kenya Director, John Kamwara, tells it, computers, printers and other technology devices donated by Technology Partnership (TP) to schools in Meru, and the ongoing trainings we have provided on how best to use the devices, have helped a great deal in:
- Exposing both teachers and students to the use of technology in learning and teaching.
- Improving national examinations results. "In fact, TP schools that actively use technology in learning and teaching are the ones leading in top scores in national examinations for both high schools and primary schools," John says.
- Communicating and sharing skills and ideas. "For example," says John, "on the occasion of the prize-giving day for Meru county schools on 20th of July this year, the education department of the school district needed videos and photos of the occasion. Children from one of the TP schools situated in a slum area (CCM Township Primary School) did that work using tablets. It was fantastic."
- Increasing the efficiency of teachers.
- Creating opportunities to access educational opportunities and information, and do research on the internet.
"So far," says John, "of all the other non-profit organizations that have been involved in getting schools to use computers, it is only TP that has recorded great success because of the difference in its project implementation approaches. As Barb put it in her last report, indeed we are now in an acceleration phase because of the appetite for technology created by TP through effective project implementation methods."
Help us continue to stand up for teachers and students in Meru, Kenya, and provide them with opportunities to expand their resources. Make a donation to Technology Partnership via the button on our website today, or join us at the upcoming Fabulous 42 Formal at the Posner Center for International Development in Denver to learn more about our work and enjoy a fantastic evening! You might even consider traveling to Meru with us in the future to see the success (and the safari parks!) first-hand. Listen to the stories of these teachers who visited our schools in 2013 and be inspired!