The Mobile Solar Computer Classroom (MSCC) is a project that was started in 2007 at Maendeleo Foundation, and has carried on ever since.
The project was aimed at solving the problem of rampant load shedding and inaccessibility to hydroelectricity in rural areas of Uganda.
With the MSCC, Maendeleo Foundation is able to extend its computer services to the most remote areas in Uganda, even without access to electricity. This is important to us because these rural populations lack the resources to access computers. While some more urban school children may be able to travel a few kilometers to access an internet café or library, these rural villages do not have those same privileges.
This school term, the MSCC is used in seven schools in Uganda. In these schools, our training team moves with an all-terrain vehicle equipped with a minimum of 30 laptops, a solar system, projector, camera and other items. The team trains around 300 pupils in each school. The solar energy is used to power the laptops, projector and any other electronic devices that the team may need. Because the project is self sustainable, the schools visited don’t need to provide anything except excited and engaged pupils.
The MSCC even allows teachers to use a solar-powered projector to show presentations.
Students are not simply learning how to turn on a computer, either. Our Maendeleo trained students are able to type, create documents, use software such as Microsoft Office and our own Maendeleo software, access the internet, and operate equipment such as computer mice and printers.
So, why is this project so important to us? Technology literacy and the ability to operate a computer are incredibly useful skills. With these abilities, individuals can find employment to create income, stay connected with other people, and even use the internet to find information regarding things such as health concerns, agricultural tips, and current events.
Through the power of solar energy, over 50,000 Ugandans have had a chance to learn and use computers, and 98% of these individuals have been from remote villages. We are excited for the MSCC program to continue to expand and reach even more students.