<<September 18, 1999>>

Roger Lee Boston <rboston@tenet.edu>

John C. Afele, Ph.D <JAFELE@plant.uoguelph.ca>

(1) Dear Roger:

Many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I).

This is very interesting project. Pls send me the full name and address
of the contact person of this project.

I could not find any of the towns mentioned in this write-up in
the National Geographic Maps (CD-ROM) which map was made in 1990.
Have they changed since then?

(2) Dear John:

This project is similar to your mobil telelearning center.

Best, Tak

Subject: Re: Africa region operation
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 21:33:39 -0500
From: "Roger Boston" <rboston@tenet.edu>
To: <gu-glh@www.friends-partners.org>
CC: <hibbs@bfranklin.edu>, <utsumi@www.friends-partners.org>, <utsumi@columbia.edu>

See the short situation sumamry (attached file) --
Is there a place for this Nigerian Project in the African initiative?



Fantsuam Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, works with rural
communities in Nigeria. We have an on-going micro-credit project aimed at
alleviating poverty among rural women. Our other projects include Health
Education, Promotion of the use of solar stoves, Promotion of Rainwater
Harvesting, Literacy and Numeracy programmes for adults and the Staging Post'
project. The Staging Post provides relevant health information and re-training
for frontline health workers in our rural clinics and health centres. The
internet is our most prolific source of health information at the moment, and
we access this whenever we are in the UK, download it on discs and take them
back to our field station for translation, re-phrasing and editting to adapt
the information for our health workers. We would like to use similar syatem
for our distance learning programme.

There is an increasing disparity in academic performance and attainment
between student who live in rural communities and those in urban area. The
latter and their teachers have access to more educational facilities. Drop-out
and failure rates therefore tend to be higher in rural secondaru schools.
Women beneficiaries of our Micro-credit schemes are concerned about the lack
of access to quality education for their children.

In addition, the cost of re-training and skills up-date are generally borne by
teachers. The existing programmes requires the teachers to attend some
residential teaching at a university which is about five hours travel from
their work stations. The programmes are run by the university during the long
vacation which also coincides with the period of intense farming activities in
our rural communities. To attend such programme, teachers have to forgo their
farm work for that season with its attendant hardship on the family's budget
and nutrition. These factors contribute to the declining motivation for self-improvement among secondary school teachers in rural areas. Acquisition of
higher qualifications and proficiency is rapidly becoming a privilege rather
than a necessity and this also contributes to the poor performance of their
students in the National Examinations. Consequently, education with quality
content is largely inaccessible to teachers and students in rural communities.

We are therefore making efforts to put a distance learning programme in place
towards meeting this educational need in the rural communities we serve. We
are starting with a pilot project to provide communication access for distance
learning to our communities where there is no access to phones or electricity.
Distance can be an effective means providing this service to these communities
where there is no access to telephones or electricity.

We want to provide internet access, affordably, to our Mobile Community
Telecentre in Kunyai, Nigeria, where there is no electricity or phone lines.
The Mobile Community Telecentre is a van that is being rigged up to carry four
computers from one rural community to the next within a 20 mile radius. We
want to access quality content at an affordable price for our distance
learning programme. The programme will provide basic skills training for our
youths, English language lessons and other subjects relevant to the secondary
school curriculum as well as relevant information for frontline health workers
in our rural communities.

Our rural communities (comprising women, youths, secondary school teachers and
stidents, and Community Health Workers) are the immediate beneficiaries of the
distance learning programme. The project will provide communication access for
distance learning for secondary school STUDENTS to supplement their formal
studies, and also access for TEACHERS to re-train for diplomas and degrees.We
want to be able to provide access to information for our secondary school
students to supplement their formal studies, and also provide opportunity for
rural teachers to re-train for diplomas and degrees. There are three secondary
schools serving five of the villages where we work.

There is a leath centre in Kagoro and a clinic in each of the other four
villages. The Community Health Workers at the clinics and the nurse at the
Health Centre will be able to access information for their re-training and
skills up-dates.

Five village Communities within the radius as of 15-20km have been earmarked
as a pilot area in which the distance learning programme will operate. These
villages will also have access to email services from the proposed Mobile
Community Telecentre.
Our field office for the distance learning is located in the central village
of Kunyai with its population of about 1,300. The nearest ISP to Kunyai is
anout 5hours drive on some difficult roads. The other participating villages
are Kagoro (population about 7,000), Kamuru (2,000), Chenckuk (1,500), Ungwan
Rimi (4,000) and Sakwak ( 2,500).

The Government Day Secondary School at Ungwa Rimi serves the communities in
Kamuru, Kunyai and Chenchuk, while Sakwak has its own Mission secondary
school. The third school is the Government College at Kagoro. The tertiary
institution (College of Education) at Gidan Waya trains secondary schools and
will also be invoved in the project.

This pilot project will involve a total of 360 students, teachers selected
from these educational institutions as well as 10 frontline healthworkers. The
two senior classes in the secondary schools (SS II & SS III) will provide 250
students and 30 teachers while the College of Education will nominate 60
teacher-trainees and 10 of their lecturers.

We have a van which is being rigged up as our Mobile Community Telecentre to
provide internet access for the rural communities. We have also acquired four
computers which will be carried in the van from one village to the next on
designated days.

- Internet access to the van.
- Source of power for the computers within the van (?car batteries)
- Funds to maintain the van for duration of the project, including wages for
the driver who is also a resource person with some level of computer/internet
- Funds for a printer with its accessories, stationeries, floppy discs

It is envisged that the pilot project will last 18months.

The Mobile Community Telecentre project will be incorporated into our existing
micro-credit project, with staff from this project trained to operate the
system put in place. We will put in place a Telecentre Sponsorship Programme
similar to what obtains in our Micro-credit schemes. Nigerians who love in
developed countries are often members of clan, village, and cultural
organisations in their new countries of residence. Many of these groups are
willing to participate in community development activities for their home-villages and clans. They will be invited to adopt the telecentre project for
their own villages and provide support for its continued operation. Similar
organisations including professional associations within Nigeria will also be
invited to sponsor the telecntre programme.
List of Distribution

Roger Lee Boston
Rockwell Chair Instructor and Consultant for Creativity
Distance Education/Technology Center
Office of the President
Houston Community College System
4310 Dunlavy
P. O. Box 7849
Houston, TX 77270-7849
713-718-5224 (direct)
713-265-5343 (main)
FAX: 713 718-5301

John C. Afele, Ph.D
Program Director
The Indigenous African Perspective on Sustainable Livelihoods
Department of Plant Agriculture
Crop Science Division
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1G 2W1
Telephone:(Bus)1-519-824-4120 ext 3934/8164
(Home) 1-519-831-4862
Fax: 1-519-763-8933
Chair, Grants & Research Committe,
Ghana Computer Literacy and Distance Education project
< http://www.ghaclad.org >
Member of Africa TeleHealth Consorutium
< http://ccen.uccb.ns.ca/nairobi >
Member, IT for Development Working Group
Council for Tropical and Sub-Tropical Agriculture, Germany
< http://www.dainet.de/gil >
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education *
* Founder of CAADE *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education) *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of *
* Global University System (GUS) *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A. *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu; Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676 *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/ *

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