Solar Power for Ngamo Primary School

There has been much excitement in the Ngamo community recently with Ngamo Primary School receiving solar panels, wiring, lights and plugs to provide power to each of their classrooms. This was made possible thanks to generous donations from Wilderness Safaris guests. This project at Ngamo Primary makes it the first Children in the Wilderness (CITW) supported school, and the first school in the Tsholotsho Region, to be fully solarised. This will enable teachers and students to have access to the internet, allowing them to take advantage of all the benefits that come from being connected to the wider world.

While electricity was previously provided by the national grid, this was highly unreliable and often out for weeks at a time. Thus, the installation of solar power at the school has been significant, and will drastically change how the school will function going forward. Students from Ngamo Primary and neighbouring Ngamo Secondary School will be able to use the library in the evenings, giving them more opportunity to study and make use of the school’s resources.

Perhaps one of the most exciting changes for students and teachers alike is the availability of internet. Many schools do not have hard copies of the new national curriculum because of the high cost. Being able to access this online will save the school money, and will allow teachers to keep up-to-date with the curriculum and other online teaching resources. As the headmaster now has access to email, he is more reachable in Ngamo’s remote location, thus communication and collaborative working will be more efficient and effective.

The addition of 15 computers is particularly important for Grade 7s, who have a computer component in their national examinations. Until now, the lack of electricity and ability to source computers has meant that students learned about computers through theory only, looking at pictures that were put up on the blackboard. While the school does not have enough computers for a whole class just yet, this is a great start, and being able to learn computer skills practically will be an immense help to the students not only in their exams, but also in their lives after school.

The solar panels have made a significant difference to Ngamo Primary students and teachers so far, and the positive outcomes are sure to increase. The Ngamo Primary community is hugely grateful for the donations, and is excited about what the future now holds with electricity and internet.