ITC General + Stakeholder Updates

Information Technology Centers ITCs or so called Telecenters

In 2000, World Links introduced its Telecenter model to encourage school lab sustainability while promoting community development. World Links openned telecenters in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mali, India, and Brazil. Though different in every country, the typical World Links model is an important source of local-level program sustainability to underwrite recurrent costs associated with the technology and to improve community-school relations. Equally important, this model extends the benefits of technology, the internet and life-long learning to the entire community for a wide range of development applications.

World Links telecenters are either school-based computer labs or community centers that are converted into telecenters for the purpose of introducing ICT skills and IT-enabled resources to underserved communities, with the intent of enabling adults and youth to participate successfully in the global knowledge-based economy. To that end, World Links empowers both the school and general communities to convert school-based computer labs or community centers to self-sustaining community-accessible technology learning centers. Increasingly, World Links has been introducing its telecenter model to non-school structures, including government offices, community centers, and NGO offices.

While every World Links Telecenter is different, all World Links Telecenters focus on capacity building for several population segments, within and outside the school. At the school level, World Links builds capacity in principals, teachers, and students to manage the day-to-day operations of the school-based telecenter; this facilitates the building of entrepreneurial skills. Outside the school, the telecenters focus on introducing ICTs and IT enabled resources to underserved populations. To that end, World Links telecenters have provided communities with access to information on health, environment, and agricultural issues, while creating a safe, secure, and inviting environment for under-reached populations such as out of school youth, women, and senior citizens to acquire IT skills.

A World Links Telecenter is a combination of a computer lab and a private Internet cafe. Whereas a computer lab’s purpose is pedagogy, and an Internet cafe's purpose is profit for sustainability, a World Links Telecenter seeks to fulfill both pedagogy and sustainability. At no point, however, will the quest for profits ever overpower the desire to diffuse technological knowledge. The profit-seeking nature of a World Links Telecenter exists solely to further its educational mission.

Sustainability of World Links’ telecenter programs is achieved in several ways. While some World Links telecenters achieve sustainability through guaranteed government support for all recurrent expenses, other centers develop solid revenue generation models to support ongoing costs. In all instances, World Links works closely with key stakeholders to ensure that expenses are being met in the long term.

The Tonga.Online Project has been collaborating with World Links since early 2001 in the establishment of ITCs at Binga Highschool, Siansundu Secondary and Siachilaba Primary School in Binga area in Matabeleland North. After the donation of computers by President Mugabe to some other schools in the district there is potential to expand the network of ITCs further and to reach out to even remote communities. In 2006 the first ITC across the lake on the Zambian side of the Zambezi Valley at Sinazongwe Basic School was established.

Map of the area

Stakeholders Update February 2004

The Binga ITC continues to be busy, and in the first term of 2004, started a new computer science class with Form 1 students in preparation for O Level.
New ITC Charges – Charges were increased to accommodate rising costs, and are now as follows: Introduction to Computers/20h $10 000, Internet $60pm, Computer use $500ph, Printing $500pp, Scanning $500pp.

Read more ... festival, official opening of Siachilaba + Syandsundu

Across the Waters / Borders / Continents

On 4th/5th September the village of Siachilaba in Zimbabwe´s remote Binga area will become a hub of cultural exchange again: the Tonga community will be celebrating the Official Opening of two new computer centres, Siachilaba ITC & Syanzyundu ITC. At the same time the Switching-On ceremony at Siachilaba Primary School by the Rural Electrification Agency will be heralding the advent of electricity and computers. 

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Report of Siachilaba & Syanzyundu ITC Official Openings

Tonga.Online is pleased to report the successful Official Opening of the Siachilaba ITC and Syanzyundu ITC on 4 September 2004.

Read more ... festival and soundbridge

Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September were LIVE! in Siachilaba with over 160 musicians taking part in a huge gathering of people, who came to celebrate the arrival of computers and electricity at Syanzyundu Secondary and Siachilaba Primary School.

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