"For the Tonga people like me, there is something deeply biblical about the word MULONGA, yet it is a modern story too. One of massive but unshared technology. One of plentiful water but perpetual drought."
Dominic Muntanga
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mulonga.net >> IT Centers >> Stakeholders Update July 2007
Stakeholders Update July 2007
Monday, 10 September 2007 22:02

1.0    INTRODUCTION

With the feasibility document complete and in circulation, activities during this period focused on giving support to the centres in a bid to increase the lifespan of the equipment in the district. There was also the opportunity, as part of Tonga.Online`s cultural exchange project, to facilitate the travel to Zambia of the Group Simonga for the Lwiindi Ceremony.

2.0    FEASIBILITY STUDY.

The feasibility study report was completed and has been circulated among the Advisory Board members and other stakeholders for analysis. Consultations on the report are in progress with partners, AZFA having forwarded their comments. It is expected that comments and deliberations on the study report will form the basis on which the decision on the way forward for connectivity will be made. 

3.0    TRAINING

3.1    Routine Trainings

The ITC`s were busy during the period, training students and in some cases members of the community as well. With the Ministry of Education`s drive towards computer education in all schools, more schools are timetabling computer lessons for the whole school. 

3.2    Sinazongwe ITC

Training at Sinazongwe ITC for the school pupils (grades 6 to 9) is currently in progress. As for this period, no community members were trained. A printer has now been set up at the ITC and this should enhance the services to the community and the school. A modem and an extra printer were handed over to the school by Tonga.Online and the school now has to apply for a telephone line so that the centre and the community may enjoy the benefits of access to the internet and educational resources on the web. The second printer will be installed once the drivers are secured.


Tonga.Online carried preventative maintenance on all computers at Sinazongwe Basic School in June and two female teachers mainly those in charge of the ITC were trained on how to service the computers. The servicing of computers was followed by IT skills training to teachers on how to use the computer. A total number of  12 teachers were trained. 

3.3    ITC Management Committee.

A meeting to clarify some misunderstanding on the composition of ITC Management Committee was convened by Tonga.Online during their visit in June. At that meeting, it was generally agreed that the Sinazongwe ITCMC shall be made up ZAMTEL, ZESCO, Council, School Manager, IT Teacher, Women Representative, and three (3) community members drawn from different community groups. The composition meeting was with a mini workshop on the roles of the ITCMC. This was tailored to empower the members and foster accountability and responsibility amongst members.

3.4            Sinazongwe Community Radio Station

Following the series of meetings conducted by Tonga.Online in Sinazongwe in June which subsequently led to the forming of a Radio committee the Community Radio Station was installed by a team of Austrian ´open-access´ radio activists. The Radio Station was officially handed over to the Sinazongwe community by the Tonga On Air Team on the afternoon of 28th July 2007. The occasion was graced by the Zambian Minister of the Southern Province. Some workshops were run alongside the installation of the radio station which is located at Sinazongwe Basic school, in a room adjacent to the ITC. Fund-raising is still in progress in Sinazongwe to pay for a broadcasting licence  for the radio station before broadcasting of community developed programmes commences.

3.3     Siachilaba ITC

3.3.1  Training

Training with pupils is on going. All classes are now attending computer lessons according to the school time table, This sees all pupils at the school being at the same level with their counterparts in towns.

The Number of pupils at the school with access to computers is as indicated below:-

 Boys 413 
 Girls 373
 Total number of pupils
 786

Community training

Females 
 Males 0
 Total Comunity 4

3.3.2 Culture

Siachilaba Primary School ngoma buntibe performing group was revived  last term.

During dance, the young perfomers do war and hunting dances called kuzemba .  Girls refuse to agree that only males have the stamina to blow the horns and are kin to learn how to blow the horn (nyele).

The same pupils are involved in  beadwork, basket-making, traditional music  and art. In this regard Tonga.Online project is lobbying for the revival of Tonga Culture in connection with the above activities,

These cultural activities have been included by the school on club days where they practise once a week. The group will eventually get into the business of selling Tonga arts and crafts such as beadwork and baskets. Pupils involved in this group are girls and boys in grades four,five and six.

3.3.3 Gender

Three female teachers and a lady CAMFED co-ordinator have started basic computer literacy. Two women from the community have joined two female teachers in helping pupils to revive culture through beadwork, basket making etc.

3.4    Binga High ITC

Training at the ITC was inprogress. A total of 736 students (315 males and 321 females) from form 0ne (1) to form six (6) were undergoing training at the centre. This term no community members registered for training due economic hardships. The students have adapted well to the FOSS software which came along with the new computers. The Internet services at the ITC were revived and locally advertised. 

3.5    Syanzyundu

Training was carried out for the whole student population as per the statistics below following the school timetable:

School students trained                                                     

 Boys  213 
 Girls 393
 Total number of pupils
 606

The community response to computer awareness was not as expected with the training as indicated.

Females  0
 Males 2
 Total Comunity 2

Total trained = 608

Some challenges were faced with some computer breakdowns which were, however,  attended to by Tonga.Online. The  lack of a printer is still a problem to the  ITC as this reduces the possible income that the center can bring in.

 3.6    Financial Systems meeting.

In the month of July, Ms Joyce Munyama from HORIZONT3000 held a meeting with the Tonga.Online staff and the Kunzwana Trust accountant. The purpose of the meeting was to enlighten the staff on the ADA accounting procedures in view of improving the upkeep of funds and acquittals.

4.0    Twiimbilane Studio update

4.1    Music Recordings  and Musicians Practice

Musicians continued having access to practice at the studio and make their trial recordings. A sound card was received for the studio and this is set to improve the quality of the recordings made.

4.2    Focus on Traditional Music

The drive towards preservation of Tonga Traditional music was amplified by the studio with the recording of Chilimba, a form of Tonga Traditional music, both on video and audio.  Plans are in place to identify more traditional groups in the district in a bid to preserve this music which is now largely performed only by the elderly. Stakeholders are invited to forward the names of traditional  groups they feel should have their music recorded. This recording service is for free.

4.3    Video Documentary

A video documentary entitled “A Quest For Education: a look at educational options for children from Mankobole Primary School In Binga”, was produced by the studio. This video explores the situation at Mankobole Primary School. Gratitude is extended to the Ministry of Education, Binga District for permission to make the documentary.

 5.0    Tonga.Online support visits to ITC`s

Workshops were carried out in some ITCs in the District. The main focus of these workshops was to raise awareness on the importance of regular servicing of computers and to share basic computer servicing techniques. Taking part in these workshops were

  • The School head or his/her representative
  • The Head of the Computer Department
  • The Teacher in charge of the ITCs
  • Two other teachers interested in learning computer servicing.

 In the seven schools that were visited, 68 computers were attended to, of which 49 are working. Binga Primary School, Binga High School, Siachilaba Primary School, Tyunga High School, Siabuwa High School and Lubimbi High School were not attended to due to commitments with other project activities. From the schools visited, it was generally noted that servicing of the computers has not been done at  all in the past.

Schools have started to send feedback to Tonga.Online appreciating the efforts of the Project in passing skills and caring for them.

Some schools are still facing problems of electricity with Kariangwe still working on sourcing funds for wiring the ITC. 

The project has identified a local Rotary Club, Belmont Rotary Club to assist a Rotary Club in Linz, Austria to facilitate in implementing a solar solution for Tyunga Secondary School which has a remote chance of getting electrified soon. This project will ensure that Tyunga benefits from computers like other secondary schools in the district

 
6.0    COMPUTERS FOR THE DISTRICT EDUCATION OFFICE

The District Education Office finally received its three computers which were part of the consignment from Austria. This was after the release of monitors from Binga High School.

The Binga High school loaned 8 computers to other schools and 3 monitors to the District Education Office from the old batch of computers. The schools which benefited from the exercise are Binga Primary, Manjolo Primary, Siachilaba Primary and Sianzyundu Secondary Schools. The distribution was  effected as follows.

 

School

Computers Available

Proposed Donation

Purpose

Total for Pilot Study

Binga Primary School

4

2

1x server

1x Administration

1x Special Class

 

7

Manjolo Primary School

4

(x3 working, x1 none working)

4

1xServer

1x replacement of none working,

1x Administration,

1x Disabled pupils

 

8

Siachilaba Primary School

(6 working and 1 none working)

1

1x replacement of none working computer

6

Siansundu Secondary School

13 (12 working and 1 none working)

1

1x replacement of none working computer.

13

District Eduction Office

3 CPUs

3 Monitors

 

 

 

In this regard we would like to thank Binga high School for this important assistance. This assistance will go a long way in improving the ICT skill delivery process in the beneficiary school.

7.0    ARTS AND CULTURE

7.1    Lwiindi Festival

The Lwiindi Ceremony was held in Sinazongwe, Zambia on the 28th of July 2007. The Ngoma Buntibe group Simonga, from Siachilaba, was able to join six (6) other Ngoma Buntibe groups from Zambia in a ceremony that is traditionally held every year at the end of July. The purpose of the Lwiindi ceremony is to mark the end of the agricultural season and to appease the ancestral spirits, asking them to thank God for the past seasons harvests and to ask for a good cropping season, free from pests and with enough rain. The ceremony is also used to ask for well being in the community.

Finally, Tonga.Online would like to thank the partners and stakeholders for their support that they are giving to the project.
 

Compiled by:  Pottar Muzamba- Project Director Tonga.Online