I returned for my final six days in Congo with two principal aims.
The first, to visit some of the extremely dilapidated schools Nyantende Foundation sends its students to with two engineers, in order to receive real estimates on both construction costs and bringing in new classroom furniture.
The second goal was to finalize a six month plan for the Educational Technology Centre.
From Tuesday March 24 – Thursday March 26, we would visit 12 of our 15 schools with the engineers, Friday would be the final meeting with the ETC team, and Saturday I would have one final meeting with the team and take the afternoon off to say my goodbyes.
For the three days of school visits, I took a passenger seat to the engineers and let them do their work of measuring classrooms, property size and taking notes on the school’s structural characteristics. Aside from one miserable day of rain, I enjoyed being at the schools free to engage with the staff and some of the students. Although, I did have to explain carefully to each administration that there was no guarantee any construction would begin on their school at any point in the near future. I made it clear to them, the sole purpose of getting the quotes was to improve the quality of each school profile we were creating to better our chances of finding school sponsors in Canada and abroad.
In our final meeting for the Educational Technology Centre I brought in the three brand new laptop-tablet hybrids and gave our coordinators a small introduction on how they operate. Overall, the meeting was focused on continuing to create a basic outline of the curriculum we would be implementing, and also to set some hard deadlines for the next six months.It was determined that the curriculum would be complete by the end of June. This would enable us to use our recent graduates as trial students in the programs first pilot class starting in July.
Our ultimate hope here is that by September we will have a fully functioning classroom outfitted with wifi and a comprehensive curriculum that we are proud of.
Here’s the final video update from the ETC’s online campaign that summarizes the final meeting’s events.