Thursday, March 23, 2006

COMPUTERS FOR SCHOOLS KENYA : A Proud List Of Achievements

Computers for Schools Kenya is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of e-competent young Kenyans through the provision of computers and auxiliary services to public secondary schools and related learning institutions and community access centres.

CFSK is a registered non-profit organization in Kenya and became so in October of 2002. It began it's operations in January a few months later.

The idea for this organization was borrowed from a similar organization called Computers For Schools Canada.

The members of the Board of Directors of the organization are drawn from a cross section of community and business leaders from major Kenyan Institutions in both the Public and Private sectors.

The staff management team of the organization manages its operations along with a group Local and International volunteers. The offices main Refurbishment and Technical Support Centre are maintained at the Starehe Boys' Centre in Nairobi which generously hosts the activity. In addition to its work at the Starehe Boys' Centre, CFSK runs training facilities at the:
Kenya Science Teachers College
Kenya Technical Training College
Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology
Ogada Secondary School and
Kenya Methodist University.

The inspiration behind founding CFSK was the existence of challenges existing the ICT world in Kenya. They included:

- High cost of ICT equipment that was beyond the financial resources of public schools and community access centers
- Inappropriate curricula: expensive foreign syllabi, over-ambitious and often outdated local curricula
- Inadequate technical expertise for installation and maintenance of ICT infrastructure
- Inadequate capacity in schools for application of ICT to teaching & learning and educational administration
- Lack of policies, statutory provisions and regulatory framework and standards
- Ever-widening digital divide and diminishing national competitiveness

CFSK trains Teachers, Trainers and even Principals during school holidays and between the months between April and August. In addition to Basic literacy, CSFK teaches Hardware, Networking, Front page, linux, Introduction to Computers & Operating systems, & Word-Processing, Spreadsheets & Presentation and Databases & Internet. And all of this is for the purposes of Capacity Building in Kenya.

The Core Technical Department Sections provide

Maintenance & Support
Internet Connectivity
Internal Network
Recycling and Waste Management
Special Experimental Projects
Thin Client Project

Sourcing for quality PCs, Deployment of those PCs and their Maintenance along with Curriculum & Resource Materials Development are also important goals of the organizaiton.

Additionally, Core Activities of CFSK include:

Capacity Building in schools through
Evaluation and Certification
Internet Connectivity/Access
Management of eWaste

CFSK has numerous Sponsors and Partners. Amongst them are:

Government of Kenya Departments and Agencies
Nation Media Group
Canadian Crossroads International
Canadian High Commission
Computers for Schools Canada
Connectivity Africa
Countryside Suppliers
Microsoft East Africa
United States Peace Corps
Ibero (Kenya) Limited
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)Canada
Digital Links International (UK)
Computer Aid International (UK)
Barclays Bank
Access Kenya
Kenya Airways

There are many, many other sponsors and Partners, but I cannot make this list too long here. So, I will direct you to their web site.

Among its many achievements, Computers for Schools Kenya deployed the first lot of 200 computers in 10 pilot schools and has since then (to name a few achievements)it has:

Establishment of a successful organizational model

Sourcing and refurbishment of over 5268 computers

Deployment of computers to over 208 institutions

Support and bi-annual Maintenance of deployed PCs

Training of 1,203 IT Teachers, Principals, BOG/PTA members and Educational administrators

There is a lot more that can be written about CFSK, but at this point, I am going to direct you to their web site and hope you pay them a visit.

Computers for Schools Kenya

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