Sierra Leone: Ideal Technology Uses Innovation to Boost Education In Rural Communities
By Famah Gbow
Ideal Technology, a local Community-Based Organisation that operates in Bo District, Southern Sierra Leone, has recently distributed free solar backpacks to 200 school-going pupils in three communities including Gondama Timbo, Sembehun Kokofela, and Kangaa Communities in Bo District.
Even though electricity is a key necessity to quality education, constant electricity supply still remains a major challenge in Sierra Leone despite huge efforts by the government to provide a reliable power supply in both urban and rural communities. The challenge with electricity supply has adverse effects on education, businesses, economic and other developmental activities in the country, especially in rural settlements.
It uses innovation and technology to boost education in underserved communities within the district. Its latest intervention is the free distribution of solar backpacks.
According to Peter George, CEO-Ideal Technology, learners in Gondama Timbo, Sembehun Kokofela, and Kangaa Communities are among the most vulnerable who suffer from a complete lack of electricity supply which has seriously affected their performances in both classroom assessment and public examinations. According to him, children in these communities had limited options for day and night-time studies because they had to join their parents on the farms after school, and at night, there was no means of electricity which made it very challenging for them to work out their assignments or even study. This, according to him, has negatively impacted their performances in school, thereby leading to a high rate of school dropouts and teenage pregnancy in these communities.
In a move to resolve the highlighted challenge, Ideal Technology, with a grant received from Restless Development to roll out the Catalyzing Youth Leadership for Education Reform (CYLER) Project prepared and distributed free solar backpacks to 200 vulnerable learners in these communities. According to Joseph, each backpack costs Four Hundred and Fifty Leones (Le 450.00)…