Category Archives: Rate

Training in monitoring completed at Rate and Betivatu

The team has completed on-site training in monitoring and backup system this week. Teachers, community champions and the solar management committee were trained to monitor the solar power supplies, conduct periodic inspections and how to report faults. Additionally, a simple method was introduced to monitor educational impacts and activities supported by the solar power.

The last two schools to receive the training were Rate and Betivatu Primary Schools, on Thursday 31st October and Friday 1st November.

English teacher at Betivatu reviewing UNESCO resources

English teacher at Betivatu reviewing UNESCO resources

Teachers reported many early benefits from the solar power. Neither school has had a reliable generator and so the reliable solar power and lighting has made big difference, especially with examinations coming up. Both schools reported daily evening classes for exam years, with some students who live too far to walk in the evening, boarding in the classrooms so that they can study.

Both schools are keen to use ICTs and are developing ICT plans and proposals. The team provided open educational resources from sources such as UNESCO and teachers are planning to use them in their classes as “multimedia supplementary resources”. At Rate they have been using educational videos in lessons.

Solar lighting assisting the training at Rate, as it was raining light was poor

Solar lighting assisting the training at Rate, as it was raining light was poor

Community successfully engaged at Rate PS

A meeting was held on 14th August between the implementation team and the Rate School community. A very strong turn out of 49 members of the staff, board, PTA and local women and youth leaders, farmers, church and other community members gives a strong indication of the local interest in the project.

David Iro addressing the meeting

David Iro addressing the meeting

The meeting was intended to promote local ownership by inviting the school and community to jointly make inputs into the planning process, and included:

  • Project briefing for the participants
  • Introduction to the proposed management structure and the draft School/Community agreement (MoU).
  • 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.
  • Appointing a technical teacher and any other persons who they felt needed to receive technical training;
  • Finalising the installation plan and conducting a technical survey and measurements

The meeting was facilitated by the Head Teacher Rickson Saukuva, and contractors David leeming and David Iro accompanied by Bobby Tomani, Infrastructure Officer from the Ministry of Education.

Head Teacher Rickson addressing the meeting

Head Teacher Rickson addressing the meeting

A lively discussion followed the project briefing.

One good suggestion taken up by the team came from a women’s leader, who commented that a female should be identified and nominated as a community technician, to encourage the participation of women. There was also strong interest in potential use of computers. For instance, one of the new teachers at the school has worked as a manager of a distance learning centre at Avuavu, and is an experienced basic computing trainer.

The school agreed to hold follow up meetings to discuss what they have learned and to give their feedback on the draft agreement (MoU), ideas on local policies and nominations for the roles of technical teacher and community technician.

Preliminary visit to Rate school

Rate Primary School is a Guadalcanal Province Education Authority school located on the plains, to the east of Honiara. On May 23rd 2013, the contractors and a representative from MEHRD-ICU visited the school to make a preliminary assessment for technical reasons.

The location is shown below by the green arrow. The Google Earth view shows the position of nearby communities..

rate-loc2

rate-loc1

Rate is actually a combined primary and secondary (community high) school. It has one administration block and staff houses for both schools together, for the 14 teachers.

The school layout is shown below:

layout-rate

The primary school is in the process of being upgraded, with a new double floor classroom block with six classrooms and storage rooms under construction as shown below. This is where the solar power will be installed, as the old single floor block is now old and unsuited for electrical installations. The construction work should be completed by September.

??????????????????????

??????????????????????

The new and old primary classroom blocks, as photographed in May 2013.

The school office provides an excellent location to install the main solar equipment.

??????????????????????

The team met with the teachers and we explained the project and gathered data needed for the technical design. As with Aruligo, the teachers are very aware of the potential uses of the sustainable power source for ICT – communications, computer applications and access to educational resources online. The school is within 3G coverage of both mobile networks.

??????????????????????

The secondary school block is shown. The project will initially be focusing on basic education, but it may be possible to share some lighting with the secondary school.

??????????????????????

The staff houses, about 9 in number, are arranged along a line on one side of the campus.

???????????????????????????????

The school has had good toilets and water facilities installed, and uses mainly rainwater.

???????????????????????????????