Bringing learning to remote African villages.

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Classrooms in a box
By Michelle Robertson
An ingenious project to provide a compact yet highly developed green energy space to educate children in rural Kenya has been revealed in the form of a 6 x 3 metre ‘classroom in a box’. These structures are strongly built to withstand the extreme conditions of Africa, and yet they contain all the equipment that is needed for education. Each box is a fully equipped classroom that houses not only 11 computers, a server and projector, but runs entirely on solar power.

They are delivered to remote locations on standard 12 meter flatbed trucks complete with cinder blocks, a corrugated tin roof and a light steel frame. The classrooms are easy to assemble and have everything pre-installed including the solar power panels. There’s even a range of software, educational games and apps already downloaded on the computers including the offline version of Wikipedia.

The classroom was designed by the British company Aleutia, which has a history of working with African countries to bring new opportunities for learning with minimal maintenance and power use. Each classroom costs around €20,000, and the Kenyan charity Safaricom Foundation has ordered 47 from Aleutia – one for each of the country’s regions. Mike Rosenberg, founder of Aleutia, commented: “For nearly all of the students this will be their first ever experience with a computer.”


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