Category Archives: Aruligo

Aruligo : early impacts and training in monitoring

The team visited Aruligo today, Wednesday 30th October, to conduct the training in the monitoring and backup system.

Explaining the daily solar monitoring

Explaining the daily solar monitoring

A session was held to explore how the school has been benefiting from the solar power already. Teachers reported that evening study has become a part of the daily programme.

For instance, the grade 6 (exam year) students have been studying in the evenings on a daily basis. This is unusual for a non-boarding primary school, and the teachers confirmed that most or all of the grade 6 students had been attending the evening studies. Lower grades, mainly 4 and 5, were also attending evening study but mostly those who live nearby. The extended use of the classrooms with availability of power is also attracting high school students and tertiary students, including those studying with USP, SINU and UPNG.

Teachers have also started innovating with ICTs in the classroom, for example presenting to students multimedia resources for social science and science. The school has prioritized the procurement of a projector. The team was able to provide a collection of open educational multimedia resources from UNESCO, regional organisations and other sources.

The solar power is also supporting teacher professional development. Most of the teachers at Aruligo are studying distance learning courses to advance their qualifications. The simple provision of reliable lighting in the evenings has made a big difference. One reason for this is that afternoons are often needed for chores such as collecting water during dry periods when rain tanks are empty.

The community has also used the solar power – church and PTA meetings are now convening in the classrooms in the evening.

 

Explaining the monitoring system

Explaining the monitoring system

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Lights on at Aruligo! Solar power installations well underway

The solar power installation work is well underway at Aruligo, as these images show. The main classroom block has been completed, with two fans and five powerful LED lights in each of the six  classrooms and in one of the two staff houses included in the project.

Lights and fans improving the environment for teaching and learning

Lights and fans improving the environment for teaching and learning

 

The main classroom block with 2500W of solar panels

The main classroom block with 2500W of solar panels

A staff house with 750W of solar panels

A staff house with 750W of solar panels

A control board of the solar installation

A control board of the solar installation

David Iro demonstrating the control board in a staff house

David Iro demonstrating the control board in a staff house

Installing the panel array

Installing the panel array

 

UNICEF Pacific representative visits Aruligo

UNICEF’s Pacific representative Karen Allen has paid a visit to Aruligo Primary School to view the progress with the solar power project. She was accompanied by officials from UNICEF’s Solomon Islands Field Office, the New Zealand High Commission and the contractors.

UNICEF Pacific's Karen Allen engaging with students and teachers at Aruligo

UNICEF Pacific’s Karen Allen engaging with students and teachers at Aruligo

Ms. Allen engaged a group of students in an interesting discussion about their studies and interests and explained the aims of UNICEF in reaching out to the children who are most in need, with such projects.

NZAid's Solomon Islands representative addressing the teachers and students

Anna Reid, Second Secretary (Development), NZ High Commission addressing the teachers and students

 

Participatory planning meeting held at Aruligo

A planning meeting was held at Aruligo on 7th August between the project implementation team and the school and community. The purpose of the meeting was to engage with them through their Parent Teacher Association on important matters concerning the project.

Aruligo Primary School's main classroom block where the solar power systems will be installed

Aruligo Primary School’s main classroom block where the solar power systems will be installed

About 45 members of the staff and PTA members attended. The visiting team included the contractors, David Iro and David Leeming, Adventist Education Officer Jinelle and MEHRD Infrastructure Officer Rockson.

The purpose of the meeting was to promote strong local ownership of the project and solar installations by giving the school and community a chance to participate in the planning and come up with their own ideas on the management.

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Members of the PTA discussing the MoU and strategies

The meeting was opened by Jinelle and then the contractors facilitated as follows:

  • Project briefing for the participants using a slideshow (which was also a useful demonstration of the potential use of AV materials in class)
  • Introduction to the proposed management structure and the draft School/Community agreement (MoU) for the PTA to review and give feedback and suggestions. Several hard copies given to the PTA to review.
  • Start thinking about strategies and policies for (a) security, (b) access, (c) extra-curricular use of the facilities, (d) energy conservation and (d) safety. These initial ideas will be further developed during the technical training.    
  • Appoint a technical teacher and any other persons who they felt needed to receive technical training;
  • Finalise the installation plan and conduct technical survey and measurements
Diagram of proposed management arrangements

Diagram of proposed management arrangements

The PTA members were allowed time to discuss the MoU and the strategies amongst themselves and a few days later we received the following feedback:

Technical Teacher

William Simata is nominated to be the technical teacher


School/Community Agreement (MoU)

There are no comments or remarks.

School Policy on Solar Project

(These ideas will be input to the technical training, where they can be further refined and ideas shared between the other schools)

Security

  • The community will be responsible  for the Technical work maintenance of the solar  as well as the security, a personnel will be appointed and will be stationed at the school compound (Long term plan)
  • During the School break on June & Dec there will be security personnel to be     stationed in the school.
  • Do Awareness talks with the catchment community to educate people in regards to benefits
  • Install Alarm devices on the system

Access

  • Children and Teachers are the ones to have priority access to the facilities
  • Former students and Teachers may also have access to the Facility
  • Other community and church group.
  • Nearby schools may have access to use the services on some arrangements

Extra – Curricular

  • Teachers to manage what extra – curricular he /she may decide that best suited the class without causing any harm to the Power System.

Energy Conservation

  • Charging of Mobile phone will be permitted along with the charging fee of $2.00/ mobile phone.
  • Teachers are responsible to control over energy with certain limits.

Safety

  • Teachers to make awareness talks with the students with regards to the usefulness of the solar power and the potential danger it may cause.
  • Contractor to install protection devices for safety
  • Refer to the General Electricity safety rules

 

A nice lunch was provided by the community!

A nice lunch was provided by the community!

 

The school library which will now have lights and be accessible in the evenings. Electronic library resources will be possible.

The school library which will now have lights and be accessible in the evenings. Electronic library resources will be possible.

 

Parents sitting outside during the meeting

Parents sitting outside during the meeting

 

Solar bore pump under construction (a project by Rotary Club)

Solar bore pump under construction (a project by Rotary Club)

Preliminary visit to Aruligo school

On May 15th, the contractors team David Iro and David Leeming visited Aruligo school, accompanied by the Ministry of Education’s Infrastructure chief, Henson Makoani. The objective was to make initial contact with the school staff and do a preliminary site assessment.

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Aruligo Primary School’s main classroom block is shown above. The permanent structure is very suitable for installation of the solar power. There are three classrooms on each floor. The school location in NW Guadalcanal is shown by the green arrow below.

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As can be seen in the Google Earth image below, the school is located a few km from the main coastal road, with some village communities nearby. Aruligo Primary School is under the Adventist Education Authority and has about 225 students and another 30 or so in the Kindy.

aru-earth

The team was met by Head Teacher Caroline Atu and several members of the teaching staff. After explaining the project we inspected the school site.

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Caroline Atu, Head Teacher is shown centre, with other teachers and David Iro of Willies Solar and Electrical Company is on the left. A few teachers have laptop computers, and are using social media. They are keen to develop ICT applications with the power. This is interesting, as the University of the South Pacific will be opening a campus nearby, possibly next year, and synergies may result in regard to teacher development, for instance. There is also a new mobile tower nearby, with good access including data.

The school layout is shown below:

layout-ar

The school has three staff houses with one additional one under construction. The picture below shows us inspecting one of the houses, in which solar power will be installed.

staff-1

The school staff room is in the single block seen below. Power will be run across to it from the double block.

single-block-1

Finally, one aim of the project is to coordinate with UNICEF’s water and sanitation (WASH) programme. In the case of Aruligo, the Rotary Club of Solomon Islands has been installing some good quality toilets as shown below. Where possible, we will coordinate on power for lights, pumps etc.

Toilets