Technology is revolutionizing the world, yet we have people in Africa who haven’t seen electricity, leave alone a computer.What relevant skills do they have to contribute in this world of automation? Villagers attend Zawadi Preparatory to learn the fundamentals of computing. They will be introduced to various concepts of software and the internet in the hope of using this resource to teach themselves new skills such as programming, personal branding, healthy living and so on.
I started Zawadi Preparatory barely early 2016. As a software engineer with a degree in computer science and mathematics, I want to foster a more technologically literate Kenya.My goal is to instil the attributes of entrepreneurship and self-reliance – a skill that Kenyan education currently underemphasizes. I strongly believe that by teaching self-sustenance we can solve most of Africa’s problems.Motivated by the need to expose children to technology, I built a school, Zawadi Preparatory. Currently focused on kids aged four to eight, Zawadi Preparatory teaches reading, writing and arithmetic. In the last two years, I built seven classrooms, all equipped with electricity, a water tank, swingset and a kitchen. Now, I can almost deliver computer classes to the students and villagers.
We bought the land, an eight of an acre, mid 2013. Having saved up just enough, two years later, We started the construction of the first four classrooms.
We enrolled thirty kids on launching week.This is an impressive number, compared to the average eight students a year in Mogotio. We started with kids aged between four and eight teaching basic skills of reading and arithmetic.
A little over a year into deployment. We had three more classrooms all equipped with electricity, a swingset, a water tank and double the number of students.
Launching the introduction of free computer classes to both the students of Zawadi and the locals at Mogotio.
Early 2017 we bought two acres of land, in Mogotio.To build the headquarters. This will be have more classrooms and computers for anyone to attend,learn to code and build tools. We also start the construction, of another center in Loboi, a town 70 miles from Mogotio.
I am expanding Zawadi Preparatory to accommodate more students. Right now we have 100 kids. The current space cannot accommodate any more students. One of the floors is dedicated entirely to computer classes. Open to the public and completely free. I also plan to include a tennis court, swimming pool and so many more recreational areas. This will also be open to the villagers at Mogotio. I wanted these things growing up. I am excited it make it happen for these kids.
Improved technology familiarity in Africa
A technologically literate Africa.Technology literacy will go long way towards starting a software company, participating in the competitive market or even creating an app for making everyday activities more convenient.
Locals come to Zawadi Preparatory to learn to use a computer. The curriculum is designed to provide the basic introduction of various concepts: be it programming, creating online personalities, distributing products, designing and so on. There is a lot of freedom to how they can use this resource. It is the equivalent of having a personal computer but since it is impractically to buy everyone a computer, we have a center tailored towards technology literacy.
We want to instill entrepreneurship and self-reliance, a skill under emphasized in our current educational system. We believe that education is the only way out of abject poverty. We have parents devoting their last cent to educating their child. Our job market is flooded with college graduates and doctorates competing for the same government jobs. We study hoping that obtaining one more certification will rank better over the next applicant. And so, supply exceeds demand, our scholars end up doing the same minimal jobs as high school drop outs. Parents, having spent all their income on their kids’ education, continue to work hard to sustain themselves late into old age.