Monthly Archives: August 2013

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.

Planning meeting held at Betivatu School

A planning meeting was held at Betivatu on 12th 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.

Nine members of the school staff, Board Chairman and PTA members including women’s rep, reps from two villages and school reps attended. The visiting team included the David Leeming for the contractors and Elison Sau, SSEC Education Officer.

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.

The meeting was opened by Elison and then David 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

The PTA members will discuss and review the MoU and provide their inputs to the team in a few days.

At the meeting the installation plans were also confirmed. It was decided to install the classroom systems on each of the two blocks below, which have good storage rooms for the batteries and control panels. The two staff houses to have the solar power installed were agreed on, including the primary school Head Teacher’s house.

Primary classroom block and storage room

Primary classroom block and storage room

New JICA-funded secondary school classroom block

New JICA-funded secondary school classroom block

Two teachers were nominated as “technical teachers” to be trained. These were:

  • Exodus Bobotu, who is also a PTA Teacher’s Rep and teaches in the secondary school
  • Malachi Rubo, who is the School Chaplin and also a Teachers Rep on the PTA.

The participants raised the need for a second community technician, who should live nearby. They agreed to nominate someone later.

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.

meeting-1

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)

Briefing held at Titinge – Community Champion nominated

A short consultation was held today at Titinge Primary School for the benefit of the school and School Board.

Titinge PS

Titinge PS main classroom block

Head Teacher, Peter Tero, Chairman of the Board Lolonga Mare, Area Chief Gabriel, Deputy Head Teacher Hudson Sahi, and Treasurer Fred Rukale welcomed the project team, represented by contractors David Leeming and Exodus Kawamae (Willies engineer), and Benjamin Rockson for the Ministry of Education.

Titinge-meeting

Pictured: Lolonga (Chairman), Rockson (MEHRD), Exodus (Willies), Peter (H/T), Fred (community rep), Hudson (deputy H/T), Gabriel (Area Chief)

The meeting attendees were briefed by contractor David Leeming and then a discussion followed on the project activities and schedule. The school has already given some thought to the project and has nominated their Treasurer Fred Rukale as the “Community Champion”.

A date was set for the participatory planning workshop to be held at the school in a couple of weeks. Regarding the training, Hudson suggested that training received by teachers who then get transferred should be recognised by the system and their new location selected accordingly. The team noted this suggestion and David explained the contractors plan to award certificates for training and coordinate on this aspect with the Ministry.

The Chairman Lolonga Mare noted that the school was looking forwards to the project completion and that they appreciated the information on how they would collaborate.