Learning how to operate a computer in today’s world is crucial for securing important job opportunities as well as staying up to date with new and important educational materials. The ways in which to educate someone increase exponentially with exposure to informatics. Not only would the quantity and quality of information accessed increase, but the mere opportunity to learn interactively in a new capacity would work to achieve the main goal of keeping students, particularly female students in school. In a village with no electricity, it is safe to say that there are few people in the local community who possess knowledge of computer literacy. With over 800 students in the Secondary School, of which over 200 are girls, a computer lab would provide an extraordinary opportunity for the local people.
In March, we held a first projects meeting with the mayor, the president of the parents association, the principal, teachers and some other community members where it was agreed upon that a computer literacy center was the main priority in order to address the most present and substantial issues in the community. The next step was to create a budget in order to determine the total cost of the project as well as how much each party would be contributing in the end. The budget was broken into different sections and distributed to different participants of the meeting in order to establish community involvement as well as complete the budget efficiently and effectively. After all parts of the budget were completed we brought them together to create the total overall budget. The community, knowing that a minimum 25% contribution was expected from them, agreed to augment and commit to at least 30% of the cost.
Further meetings have been conducted by different members of the community at the mayor’s office to discuss exact use and functions of the lab. Together the community has decided how the lab will be secured, who will help create the informatics course program, what oversight committee positions will be held to help ensure sustainability of the lab, which demographics will be the priority for the courses once the lab is installed and where further help throughout the community can be found in regard to informatics. By setting priorities straight, calling for many meetings to keep everyone up to date, developing the project further, finding a space and creating a budget with the help of many, the community has been a driving force in this project.