Electricity (and a computer lab!) Are Coming to BeeHive
BeeHive School has recently received a generous donation from The ESCFoundation, a small German family foundation. These funds will be used to install electricity in one of the school buildings. The building has the offices, library, and a space for a computer lab. As well as better lighting, the electricity will allow us to set the computer lab back up. The teachers and students are excited to have the computer program back in the curriculum!
In June of 2008, two MIT students came to BeeHive School and helped set up a computer lab in BeeHive’s old location, a house the school rented. The students brought 12 computers and a wealth of knowledge. They set up the lab and taught the teachers basic computer skills, how to operate the lab, and teaching strategies. Shortly after the lab was set up, Beehive students entered the lab with bright eyes and high expectations. The program was successful and the students were able to learn basic computer skills such as mouse movements, keyboard typing, and file structure. They engaged with educational games and learned basic programming.
The teachers also benefited from this lab, developing computer skills themselves. They participated in teacher training programs and learned how to use computers as teaching tools.
When the school moved to its new location, the computers were placed into storage. Now that the third building–which contains a room for the computers–is completed, the school is getting ready to set up the lab again and integrate computers back into the school curriculum.
Connecting to the Internet
The school also hopes to eventually connect to the Internet, which they have never experienced before. This will benefit teachers and students for countless reasons, including having access to online resources, being able to communicate through e-mail, and being able to connect to others around the world.
Free online resources, such as Kahn Academy and resources from the British Council, will be incredibly helpful for teacher training, and student learning. E-mailing the PTA, parents, and teachers will make communication much easier. Connecting with other schools worldwide will also allow BeeHive School to enrich their curriculum and teach their students about other cultures.
Library & Lights
In addition to supporting the computer lab, Internet, and e-mails, electricity will greatly enhance the library. The building was constructed with light in mind, and significant amount of light comes in the windows. Despite that, it will be much easier for the students to read with additional lights on, especially when it’s dark outside.
A photocopier for the office would be also be useful, for worksheets, newsletters, etc, but the school does not have one right now. Unfortunately, in Malawi copiers cost around 800,000 kwacha (more than $2000), so they’re likely not going to be purchasing one soon. Even so, having electricity will mean that if the school was able to obtain a copier, they would be able to use it.
We will update with photos once the work for the electricity is done!