As Computer Aid’s marketing officer, my day to day role is UK-based, however I was fortunate enough to accompany Ben Makai, our East Africa Programme Manager, on a visit to Zambia in December last year to meet some of our new and existing partners.
Zambia is an absolutely beautiful country. As I travelled in and around its capital, Lusaka, I was surprised by the sheer amount of building work and the number of shopping centres popping up around the city (I counted 6) – apparently a result of what seems to be fairly extensive Chinese investment.
There is a huge demand for computers as well as a significant need for an improved ICT infrastructure across the country.
The organisations we visited that already have access to IT were clearly putting the technology to good use. Both teachers and pupils at all the schools we went to, spoke about the importance of learning IT and the difference PCs had made to their lessons.
At St Michael’s Early Learning Centre, Miss Pascalina Chabu, a teacher at the school, told me that “We know that in the modern world, everyone needs IT skills. All jobs expect their employees to have them so our computers are very beneficial for all the children.”
Miss Chabu had taught all the teachers at the school how to use PCs and said that “With books you can only learn so much and you are limited to the information within them. With the internet, the learning opportunities are so much greater. It’s also great for the teachers too because now that we have PCs and the internet, planning lessons is much easier. I can find information that I need for my classes and it has improved all my lessons.”