Schools of the Future – Mozambique

Mozambique

The Schools of the Future project aims to empower teenagers in developing communities in Mozambique through technical education and entrepreneurship. We provide resources for transferring technology to these communities, such as inspiring hands-on workshops, with correspondent tools, manuals and training. In this way we aspire to spark interest and joy in science and technology and to foster the necessary foundations for technical and societal development.

Challenge

Children in developing countries have limited access to structured and pragmatic education. Especially technical education shows very low enrollment rates (around 5% according to Unesco). These numbers reflect the scarce technological resources and know-how available to schools and communities in general.

Despite the latest years progress in Mozambique’s scholar system (number of children signed to the primary school is increased  to 93% in 2011), there are still significant structural deficits like:

  • Low teaching-quality due to lack of qualified teachers, textbooks and infrastructures;
  • Illiteracy school drop-out and delay (due to family fragility and connected with food shortage);
  • Lack of stimuli and interest in study among teens;
  • Inadequate impact of educational activities in the districts.

Not only technological development can bring societal development and help improve general human well-being, it also gives an outlet for creativity, critical and analytic thinking and used in the right way can also boost community spirit, empathy and self-confidence.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which one can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

Goals

The project “Schools of the Future” focuses on basic technical education for teenagers and communities in developing countries. Workshops given include both fun hands-on experiments and theoretical explanations. The aim of these workshops is to transfer knowledge and spark an interest in technology and science to both teachers and students.

The long term objective for the project is twofold:

  • To facilitate the undertaking of a higher education path for those students who lack the appropriate resources;
  • To inspire and to put to practice the knowledge obtained in improving wellbeing of the student and surrounding community.

Main Activites

  • Construction of workshop consisting of toolboxes and manuals
  • Trainings (both for assembling toolbox and teaching with it but also related with cultural awareness and volunteering ethics)
  • Research on local and international funds for our target students (without means to afford a higher level education)
  • Deliver of workshops to students and teachers
  • Construction of long term sustainable vision where the project can be completely transferred to the local community (NGOs, government, industry)

For our first iteration in Mozambique in 2017, we built together with the students solar powered toy cars. Here the students started learning about mechanics with a simple clog-wheel system and later we introduced the theoretical and practical fundamentals of electrical circuits, batteries, motors and solar cells. With this workshops we visited several schools and worked with the students in 3 days length workshops.

For our last iteration in Mozambique (2018), we focused on just one school and gave a 3 week length workshop. Here we built together with the students a electrical piano out of a breadboard, and assembled and soldered a calculator and a radio. At the end of the workshop we also helped teachers and students making a science fair for their community. As a complement to the technical workshop, we held an economical workshop.

With both iterations we have worked with more than 100 students so far. We are locally supported by our partner NGO in Mozambique,  AVSI. AVSI works in the field of education assistance. They collaborate both with teachers and assistants in creating school activities, assisted homework and recreational and cultural activities. Our sponsorship has been given by ASML Foundation.

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