A quality education is a fundamental human right and it can only be a digital education in today's world. The reality across the developing world, however, is that providers of education either are not acknowledging the crucial role of digital technologies in teaching, or do not have the capacity to provide them. Through our Digital Infrastructure Program, we place the tools to learn and the tools to dream at the fingertips of thousands of future leaders by establishing pioneering primary school computer labs across remote Papua New Guinea.
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 15 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 initiatives 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.
In 2019, with the support of Komatsu Australia, we established computer labs at the Ulga, Minimp and Rebiamul Primary Schools, providing digital learning opportunities to over 3,000 students. Rebiamul Primary School has made exemplary use of the devices, rolling out ICT classes almost immediately.
In 2018, Founder & Chairman, Jack Growden, and founding board member, O'Keefe Easzon, traveled three hours from Mount Hagen to one of the province's most remote schools, Lumusa Primary School, to present 12 devices. Beginning an extraordinary presentation, members of the community chaired Jack and O'Keefe through the village to thank them for bringing the world of digital opportunities to their children's fingertips.
On September 17th 2017, LiteHaus was born as Jack Growden donated his laptop and promised to return to the Kuta Primary School with 12 more. Six months later, he returned and opened the first functional computer lab in the Western Highlands before a crowd of 500 people. Kuta Primary School has since opened a purpose-built classroom to house the devices.