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

Tonga.Online Stakeholder Update July and August

Community sensitisation meetings were held at four schools along side a photo and video show of the Linz09 trip by Simonga-Maliko. This was an opportunity to enlighten these communities on the programmes of Tonga.Online and also the various uses of computers.A workshop on basic computer maintenance and to share some experiences on the e-books was done in the period under review.

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Tonga.Online Stakeholder Update June 09

1.0     Introduction

In the month of June, continued providing support services to different ITCs with a view of bringing them to desired standards after a long down time period resulting from the collapse of the education sector. Four schools got their compiters serviced. Basic computers maintenance skills were imparted to teachers and distribution on information was done. On the cultural front, the Matabeleland North Arts and cultural festival was celebrated.

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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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Tonga.Online: January 09 stakeholder update

1.0    Introduction:

The year started early for Tonga. Online, with rehearsals preparation for Linz09 as early as the 2nd of
January 2009. Concurrently happening with the rehearsals was the Tonga.Online project review and planning workshop that took place from the 5th to 9th  January 2009. Needful to mention were series of meetings held with the Rural Electrification Agency, Arachnid, Rotary Club Belmont and with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture to inform stakeholders and draw up synergies. These meetings were part of the review and planning process and also forums to gather information to guide strategic planning at the workshop.

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