Tonga.Online Stakeholder Update May 09

1.0    Introduction

The resumption of outreach activities brought with it a lot a maintenance work as most ITCs had gone for a long time without getting routine maintenance visits by TO. During the visits it was observed that most ITCs have new Teachers in charge (TIC) of the ITCs. The general usage, basic maintenance and training activities had scaled down in these ITCs. Simonga/Maliko landed on the 12th of May 2009 from Austria where they gone for the cultural perfomance/ parade.

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2.0    Linz 2009

The joint Zimbabwe/Zambia Buntibe group Simonga/Maliko landed on the 12th of May at Livingstone airport, Zambia from Linz in Austria where they had gone for the Parade between the 1st to the 3rd of May, 2009. Linz is the Cultural Capital of Europe for this year 2009. As part of the Linz 2009 activities, the Parade brought together musicians from three continents, namely Africa, Asia and Europe. Eight groups participated at the Parade with Simonga/Maliko as one of the participating groups.

The Parade was an opportunity for the musicians and the audience to experience a unique blend of music from eight different cultures in a different environment on each day. The first day was a performance at the Solar City, day two was at the harbor just outside Linz, and the third day was a performance up the Postlingberg mountain that has an old church at the top overlooking the city of Linz.

Simonga/Maliko then proceeded to hold performances after the Linz09 activities. These included in Melk at a Roman Catholic Church that is hundreds of years old. This performance was with Karl Ritter and Otto Lechner who are both respected musicians in Austria. The two musicians have previously been in Binga with the group Windhund. The group also performed at a benefit concert held by the Rotary Club in Linz, and at the Augarten park in Vienna. An evening was spent by the group with some youth at the integration house in Vienna. The Youth there are homeless and come from different parts of the world. One video show of the trip was presented at Siachilaba PrimarySchool and business centre. More shows for to the public are lined up.

3.0    Solar Project

A follow up meeting, between Tonga.Online (TOL) and Rotary Club Belmont , to establish the current status quo of the Binga solar project, a Rotary initiative was held on the 22nd of May 2009 in Bulawayo. This meeting was followed by a telephone conversation between Dr. Bhala (Rotarian) and TOL Director to get some finer details on the project.  From the discussions and telephone conversation held, it was pointed out that:-

i)The project was approved and the match grant number is  68790.
ii)Rotary International had not communicated the total project budget to Rotary Club Belmont, hence it was difficult for RCB to commenced implementation of the project.
iii)Rotary club Belmont faced some financial constraints to execute the site visit that was planned for end of March or first week of April, 2009. The current committee has shelved the visit pending the election of the new committee. However, the decision to further pursue the visit was vested in the incoming President. If the incoming President concures with the idea of the site visit, it is likely to take place in July 2009.

4.0    Tonga Language.

The consignment for Binga North schools was finalised delivered during the first week May 2009 save for the grade ones and twos which were still being Printed yet by Zimbabwe Publishing House (ZPH). The school timetable incoporating Tonga has been drawn and agreed by all stakeholders in this respect.

5.0    Binga High School Association

Realising the challenges faced by the Education sector, former students of Binga High School met on the 16th of May, 2009, to explore ways of assisting the school to bring the education standards to desired levels. The meeting unanimously agreed to form a former students association and an interim committee being chaired by Pottar Muzamba the Tonga.Online Project Director was put in place. The committee was tasked to come up with the constitution for the association, open the bank account, identify other former students and make preparations for the launch of the association.

6.0    WLAN Permit

The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) finally responded to Tonga.Online's application for a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) permit to operate in the banned Industrial, Medical and Scientific (ISM) band (2.4GHz frequencies). This was a positive development for Binga district as far as the setting up of the long awaited WLAN was concerned.

7.0    ITC Maintenance

In the month of May 2009, four schools got their computers serviced. 24% of the computers were not working and needed some spares parts.
During the computer servicing exercise, ten teachers (3 female and 7 males) were imparted with basic computer maintenance skills.

8.0    Distribution of Information and ITCs Installations

In view of improving access to information, Tonga.Online prepared and distributed an ITC Information Data Disc containing the following information to all ITCs,
    ICDL and Open ICDL Modules,
    Application Forms for Various Universities,
    Ubuntu Maintenance e-Books
    Acts of Parliament (a few)
    Networking Training Materials
    Report on the Situation of Education in Zimbabwe
    Report on the Zimbabwe eReadiness

Tonga.Online also installed the following Databases to be used for research by teachers, students and the community:

Water Sanitation and Health
Educational aids
Food and Nutrition

Pottar Muzamba
Project Director