Haiti Connected Schools: BATI-Led Deployment at Scale
In Haiti, schools need more than just relief, they need better access to information and communication technologies to improve student and teacher skills and learning opportunities.
Inveneo collaborated with World Vision, Microsoft, HP, SELF and Voila Foundation to create “The Haiti Connected Schools Program” – a solution that brings sustainable computing solutions and Internet connections to 40 schools in rural Haiti.
Inveneo’s Sybille Fleischmann, Inveneo Country Manager Haiti, and Michelet Guerrier, Haiti Project Manager, have been working with Haitian engineers and technicians, to install solar panels, set up computer labs, and connect the schools to the Internet. As part of the program, teachers receive basic computer classes. The classes are delivered by Inveneo trained local technicians.
Inveneo’s approach integrates school administrations, Haitian solar installers and local technicians in the preparation, deployment and long-term support of the computer labs. After a school is selected the school prepares for the future computer lab, adds security measures where necessary and purchases or builds the furniture for the lab.
When the school is ready to receive the lab the solar panels are installed either on the roof or on poles next to the computer lab and the indoor cabling with inverter and batteries are completed. Shortly thereafter Inveneo certified local technicians install the computer lab and set up the Internet access. Once the lab is ready, teachers are the first to receive a multi-day basic computer course. During this training many of the teachers are touching a computer for the very first time.
Local Deployment via BATI
A key aspect of the program is the BATI – young Haitians with information technology (IT) skills who are trained by Inveneo to deploy high speed, broadband wireless networks and new, relevant technology for educational institutions, like schools, in an entrepreneurial business model. During the school deployments, experienced BATI are training newer BATI, on how to connect clients, deploy and support the computer labs. They also receive coaching and experience providing basic computer classes to teachers and the community.
In fact, the program is now entirely run by Haitians and the results have been remarkable. Two computer labs are being installed each week by two BATI teams working simultaneously. The targeted 40 school deployments are on schedule to be completed by September 2012; so far 28 schools have been completed with 12 more to go – each complete with local ownership and local long-term maintenance.
Students throughout the country are now able to access online educational resources thanks to the help of The Haiti Connected Schools Program. Inveneo’s quick response to delivering long-term solutions offers students and school administrators the best combination of sustainable computing for years to come.