Project Bright For Senegal, an initiative of the Mouvement PAS Foundation, has launched solar powered learning centers (SLPC) for primary school students in regions of Senegal that have been affected by floods and subsequent financial instability.
The SLPC’s are equipped with laptops and Internet access and geared towards learners up to age 7. Similar classrooms in Senegal have been using US technology from CyberSmart to create a more interactive learning experience for students since 2011; utilizing devices like infra red pens and translucent nylon screens, interactive white boards, projectors, and other low-power devices that are solar powered.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) had previously made grants available to train local teachers on how to use this solar powered interactive equipment to teach math, science, and social studies and to share their findings with other other educators to foster a learning community amongst Senegalese teachers.
Despite the lack of funding and resources Mouvement PAS, through their Project Bright in Senegal, continues to repurpose 40-foot shipping containers by retro-fitting them into classrooms that fit approximately 24 students. Being that they are shipping containers these solar powered Internet schools can be transported to the regions with the most urgent need for them.
A key distinction of Project Bright for Senegal is that it has loaded tablets with educational programs that students can take home with them as part of an interactive after-school program tailored for individual student needs. Students can reinforce their daily schoolwork with interactive assignments on their take-home tablets focusing on math and literacy.
For the immediate future, the project is focused on raising funds to expand its reach and launch more solar powered learning centers and internet-ready schools. At a recent benefit in New York City, Mr. Ousmane Tournaka, founder of Project Bright for Sengal, remarked:
“The goal is to allow students to learn at their own pace in the comfort of their own home …Project Bright for Senegal will initially target students in uptown Dakar and ultimately spread throughout multiple Senegalese cities.”
About the Author: Rich Valdes is a communications professional and leadership strategist experienced in education, culture, business, and politics. Learn more at www.RichValdeS.comand follow @richvaldes