Solar ICT Supports Rural Education in South Africa

The increasing energy efficiency of ICT gear means solar-based ICT is an growing option for rural areas. We written about solar ICT projects spanning education on a Pacific island to telemedicine in Kenya. Now, we've learned about a education project supported by Korean tech giant Samsung.

Samsung’s Solar Powered Internet School is located in rural Phomolong, South Africa. "Students and villagers in this town were not used to [using] modern educational facilities and access to the internet...The classroom is equipped with a 50-inch electronic board, Internet-enabled solar-powered notebooks, Samsung’s Galaxy tablet computers as well as Wi-Fi cameras – all of which help enrich the learning experience. Up to 21 students can use the classroom at one time, and the entire curriculum is stored in a central computer server."

Like the two projects cited in the opening paragraph, this school uses a "container" approach to deploying the school. "The 12-meter renovated container has solar panels installed on the roof that can generate nine hours of electricity a day, powering the electronic equipment inside the classroom...The school can be moved easily by truck so that students in even the remotest of areas can continue their education."

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Photo courtesy Samsung