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Samsung Electronics East Africa has launched the first solar-powered internet school (SPIS) at GS Kamabare School in Bugesera District, Rwanda
The school forms part of a wider project by the company, which aims to provide students across Central and East Africa with easy access to modern technology.
With a vision to reach more than 2.5mn students in Africa by 2015, the programme focuses on the deployment of ICT infrastructure; professional development of educators; content development and management; school administration and management; as well as sharing best practices in the integration of ICT in enhancing learning and teaching in the classroom, Samsung said.
The SPIS is a 40-foot shipping container which the company equips with 24 laptops (plus one for the teacher), a multi-purpose Samsung printer, a 50-inch electronic board, a server, Internet and solar panels, the company said.
All devices are optimised for use in a solar-powered environment, it added.
The e-board allows for cross-group collaboration between and among educators and learners across geographical boundaries. It can run video conferencing, access the internet, and connect to the tablet computers in the container, all simultaneously, according to Samsung.
Robert Ngeru, vice-president - East and Central Africa at Samsung, said the schools are built for use in remote rural areas with little or no electricity connectivity and are easily transportable via truck.
“The fold-away solar panels provide enough energy to power the classroom's equipment for up to nine hours a day. The solar panels are made from rubber instead of glass to ensure they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent,” he explained.
In rural areas connected to the national grid Samsung will install Smart Schools, which include a secure classroom that will be equipped with Galaxy tablets, e-board, servers and internet. One such Smart School has been fitted at GS Gashaki School in Musanze District.