25 August 2012

Rwanda: Over 300 Children Benefit From Basic ICT Training

Hundreds of students from Saint Vincent Palloti School, Gikondo, yesterday completed a two-week's training in basic ICT skills.

The training was conducted by students from Carnegie Mellon University, USA.

The pupils were taught a number of programs and others learnt how to type among other computer skills.

Michel Bezy, the Associate Director of the Carnegie Melon University, Rwanda noted that it was part of the community service programs by Carnegie Melon University students.

"Our students started this program last year where they will be coming to Rwanda every year. They have developed programs that can be used in the 'one laptop per child' computers. We want to introduce technology to these children while still in primary school," he said.

He added that they want the program to be sustainable which is why they have involved KIST students who are also engaged in the training.

Eric Kimenyi, the Chief Technical Officer of One Laptop per Child project, said that it was the third team from the US based University.

"Children have benefitted a lot from this program. It's not enough to give them the laptops, which is why there are such programs to give hands-on training to schools with the One Laptop per child program," he added.

Kimenyi stated that plans were underway to work with IT students from other universities to pass on computer skills to the children.

Chantal Umutoniwase, 14, said that she has learnt a number of skills through the training such as the scratch programs, improved her typing skills and is no longer afraid to explore other programs on her laptop.

"I am so delighted to learn how to use the Computer even before I join Secondary School. By the time I reach University, I expect to have learnt so many computer programs and doing most of my work using the computer," she said.

Umutoniwase hopes that her school will get more trainers to teach them other computer skills they aren't conversant with, so they can also teach others.

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