2012 marked the launch of the e-learning proposal with local charity Direct Aid for Africa (DAFA) teaming up with South West College to explore opportunities for delivering modern curricular through online learning methods and resources to help better the futures of young people from struggling backgrounds in Zambia.
The Fatima High School in Ndola was selected as the pilot school, with the project gaining momentum year on year and both teams are now working towards the delivery of third level projects.
Speaking about the project, Padraig McNamee, Head of Technology at South West College said:
“Zambia is one of Africa’s most highly urbanised countries and the high levels of unemployment coupled with the low GDP list it among the world’s poorest nations.
"South West College is delighted to be inspiring young people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to further their education. The progress to date has been incredible and the Zambian students are now using online learning tools, including Blackboard Collaborate, podcasts, vodcasts and Skype.
“Since the inception of the project, we have established a computer hub in Ndola and both staff and students have been trained on college systems and inducted into college processes. We are very excited about the future of this project.”
To date 7 students have graduated from the Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Information Technology with a further 11 students embarking on the programme this month.
In a further bid to raise vital funds for the young people in Zambia, the Friends and Alumni Association of South West College will host a ‘Tour de South West’, departing from the college’s Omagh Campus on Saturday 11th October, with all proceeds in aid of the Zambia e-Learning project.
The tour will cover a 100 mile route to encompass the 4 campuses of the South West College – Omagh, Cookstown, Dungannon and Enniskillen, with varying stages in distance available. This event is open to the public and cycling clubs are also welcome to get involved. For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Niamh on 0845 603 1881 ext 3702.