If we don’t blog for a few months, its very rarely because we are sitting, twiddling our thumbs! Here are a few things that we have been up to over the past few weeks.
The new school term is well underway in Scotland and we have got two new schools lined up to undertake Malaptop projects this year, St Modans in Stirling and North Berwick High School in East Lothian. Both schools will be starting to raise awareness of what the Malaptop project is and encouraging people in the school community and in their local area to donate their unused laptops. Keep an eye out for them in local newspapers and on the radio!
The schools that have received laptops from Malaptop have also gone back after their break and putting the laptops to use again this term.
Last week we got some more feedback from St Paul the Apostle in Mangochi from the Headmaster Fr Titus Bayani, who told us just how much the pupils were enjoying using the laptops that have been donated, “You can see the excitement they show when it comes to computer lessons!”.
The overall aim of the Malaptop project is to enable Malawian school pupils to learn simple ICT skills so that they can participate in a changing world. After only a years in St Paul the Apostle, Fr Titus was happy to report that this is being achieved, “Most of them now have at least the basic computer knowledge”! The staff and pupils of the school would like to thank those who have donated and to let them know their laptops are very much appreciated.
St Paul the Apostle was the first school that we sent laptops to in 2012, and received 6 laptops from us. One of the issues that they did raise was that with only a few computers it was difficult to get the pupils on the computers long enough and pupils were having to wait for a few classes before it was their turn to use them. Thankfully, we have already earmarked an additional 6 laptops that will be sent to St Paul the Apostle School to give them a full class suite of laptops! This will mean that the pupils will not have to wait as long before getting hands on experience with the computers.
You can see the excitement they show when it comes to computer lessons!
We have also been speaking with the Woodford Foundation Scotland which supports a school for deaf pupils in Bandawe, in the north of the country. We are keen to support this school and will be working with the Foundation to make sure that the resources loaded onto the laptops can be fully utilised by the pupils in the school.
We are also nearly there with shipping the largest consignment of laptops to date. We wanted to ensure that we did not run into difficulties with customs in Malawi, which our colleagues at other charities have been difficult to deal with. So we have aimed to get clearance for the laptops from the Malawi Revenue Authority before we send them out. This came through for the first batch of 76 laptops, which are all packaged up and waiting for the uplift from the courier! We are awaiting on clearance for the next batch of 70, that will hopefully follow in the not too distant future!
Watch this space…