Kokrobite Eye Health, Micro Business, and Education

What can be done in Ghana villages

SOAS To The Rescue

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SOAS (Sugar On A Stick) and The Kanda School Cluster – in rounded numbers

On this campus there are 5 Primary schools, 6 grades, 33 students per class, Total number of primary school students est. 990.

Junior Secondary School, One school, 35 students per class, 3 grades (7 to 9) total Kanda JSS 105.

Grand total about 1095 students at Kanda Schools Cluster.

Speculation as to how the 38 XOs trial at Kanda Primary # 5 in Accra Ghana might at a low cost be reinvigorated and expanded.

XOs were “loaned” to last years 3rd grade Kanda #5 class (’08-’09). These same laptops were reissued to this year’s 3rd grade class (’09-’10). (Please see https://kokrobiteeyes.wordpress.com/ for more on problems with student owned XOs in Ghana). However the server which was working last year is now down and they are not benefiting from wireless network collaboration.

I take this as another OLPC project where technical support is lacking. People with the needed skills can be found in Accra. Although at a modest costs these may exceed the school’s budget.

SOAS To The Rescue

Each of the two XO teachers, this year’s 3rd grade and the lady who is teaching her same students now in the 4th grade tell me that both students and they benefited from various Sugar activities. They would also like to have a few recycled desktop SOAS enabled PCs in their 3rd and 4th grade class room used by project students and later in 5th and 6th grades and for JSS classes.

I’ve read that in countries many students acquire so quickly XOs and the Sugar skills that that they are able to help both fellow students and teachers.

Why not split classes as early as possible, say in the 4th grade, pair XO students with non XO students so that more can acquire Sugar skills and access to text books, children’s books and world literature all free. Give awards, let children prove their worth one another!

Kanda Cluster Schools offers an evaluation opportunity between Sugar and non Sugar students.

Run a few numbers and you will see large potentials for rapid SOAC growth in Ghana schools.

Free recycled PCs can be shipped in 40′ containers from Oakland CA to Tema Ghana. PCs and monitors are stacked on their sides on pallets and shrink wrapped. The unit cost would be about $50 – $60 per work station (sorry my notes are in California) or 25% or lass of the cost of XOs and of course less when shipped from Europe.

A Note on poverty in gritty crowded working class Kanda.

The portion of Kanda community children attending primary school climbed by from 26% to about 46% when the government began providing school lunches! Never the less many of these students must “shift for them selves.” If a child does not bring money home he or she may go to bed hungry. Very likely the smaller JSS student numbers reflects the fact that too many students can not afford secondary school.

If SOAS can reduce the cost of education more young people may be able to complete JSS, SSS and acquire better jobs skills to boot.


Software note: Worrying about possibly miss leading folks I asked soas@lists.sugarlabs.org where there is a lot of discussion on installing SOAS if my promoting this might be premature, since its changes are coming out all the time and got the following reply:

incase you want to dive in.

On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 1:18 PM, Thomas C Gilliard
– Hide quoted text –
> I would recommend using Blueberry at this time.
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick
> This e-mail was reporting on a new script to use with a beta of the next
> version of Soas v3-Mirabelle.
> which is slated to be released in several weeks.
> This script allows customization of a live USB stick of Sugar and then
> duplication to multiple copies with the changes a teacher has made to it.
> Each clone will ask for a new name and identification color for the
> student’s Avitar.
> It can be used now on Blueberry-v2-Soas
> look at
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Category:Live_USB#Duplicating_SoaS_with_customization
> for more information.
> Cordially;
> Tom Gilliard
> satellit on IRC freenode #sugar
> Bend Oregon

Down here on the ground in Ghana, first we have to get the computers, then the technical support. All this will take some doing. However our students are worth it. In the mean time these are links to information, no need to wait on trying things out.

george pope


Written by george pope

May 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm

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