Since March 2018, when we established the first functional primary school computer lab in all of Papua New Guinea at the Kuta Primary School, we have provided digital learning opportunities for over 8,500 students in eight schools. Each computer lab is supplied with 12 x professionally refurbished laptops and a projector to aid the teaching of ICT classes. The eight computer labs we have established are all in schools across the Western Highlands Province, including Hagen Tee Primary School, the second largest school in the country.
All laptops we place in our digital learning facilities are now professionally refurbished units. All have Microsoft 10 operating systems, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as a lifespan of over 1.5 million hours. Our supplier, eWaste IT Recycling, is a fully-licensed data destruction and IT Recycling specialist with a complete range of ISO accreditations. Their reliable products have been faultless thus far in Papua New Guinea, however each unit has remote access software should any difficulties arise.
For most of the students, their lessons with the laptops are the first time they have ever seen a computer. In the past, digital learning provision initatives conducted by some of the world's largest NGOs have come unstuck when addressing longitudinal challenges. With very low ICT skills across teaching cohorts in Papua New Guinea, we identified that it was not simply enough to hand out laptops. Through our originally-produced Digital Skills Guidebook, we have made a commitment to the long-term ICT skill development of the students and teachers who use the digital learning tools we provide.
Bilingual (English & Tok-Pisin) and highly illustrative, we have tailored our Digital Skills Guidebook to serve as a teaching and learning guide for the basics of computing. One copy per laptop is provided in all of our computer labs in both print and digital form. As our resources increase, so too will our ability to assist schools in providing quality digital education. We envisage teacher training classes and local digital learning consultants moving between schools enhancing capacity.
We want to create a digitally-literate society across Papua New Guinea and bring the country to the favourable side of the digital divide. We want to replicate our model in all of the 3,500 schools across the country.