As the Corps move forward, we’ve asked each team to post blogs on a variety of key themes revolved around the deployment process. In the coming weeks we will highlight a few teams who will cover basic issues and statistics ranging from demographics, health, and education infrastructure to the local culture’s perspective on OLPC’s 5 principles and what the children do when they take the XO home.
Today’s post focuses on the diversity of Corps communities and learning environments teams are working in. The Corps deployments range from urban to rural, 1:1 to 1:3, 6 years old to 12 years old, and high to low student-to-teacher ratio. We share updates from Uganda, Senegal, and South Africa.
First day of XO Camp at Driehoek, South Africa (from Youtube):
Uganda: the Berkeley team’s partnering school, Buwaiswa Primary School, offers free schooling for its 100 P1, P2, and P3 students. The school’s three teachers share the burden of limited resources—no textbooks, no power, no water. Despite these constraints, the XO deployment should serve as the foundation for the NGO’s local ICT centre for secondary students.
Senegal, abra-kadabra: the Cornell, U. Miami, and U. Minnesota team is working alongside the Peace Corps to distribute its 200 XOs. With slightly more than 200 students in M’boro’s Ecole Notre Dame, the team has had to fundraise to reach 1:1 saturation. The enthusiasm displayed by the teachers has given the team some momentum, despite a few minor hiccups, like a malfunctioning server.
South Africa: the Indiana U. One Here…One There team works in three separate schools, each carrying its unique infrastructure and environment. Power ranges from unstable, on-grid electricity at Katane Primary School to generators at Driehoek and Mmaweshi schools. But a recent purchase of 140 10W solar panels will allow the students greater use after school. Despite their successes in bringing more than 200 XOs to the three schools, recent budget constraints in the MoE has caused an increase in student to teacher ratio, now at 36:1.
Read more about the 30 Corps deployments on our corps aggregator, and let us know what you’d like to see covered!
The Senegal team talks about preparing for their deployment: