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