Hunger_in_ZimbabweNineteen-year-old social entrepreneur, Farai Munjoma, was inspired to create Shasha iSeminar to help end poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe.

Shasha iSeminar is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing individuals living in poverty in Zimbabwe with access to educational materials. Munjoma believes with the rise of knowledge comes the decline of poverty.

Shasha iSeminar bridges the education gap by using technology and broadband connection, which is prominent in the country, to connect with people. Munjoma’s vision is to end poverty across the continent and views empowerment as critical to achieving this goal.

The free online classroom offers high school students an online library, career guidance, notes and access to past exams to help guide them through the material. The website is divided into several sections, giving students the opportunity to check out a creative center, learn about recent news and events and learn about careers related to their interests.

Since its introduction in 2014, Shasha iSeminar has changed the face of digital platforms in Africa. The website has received acclaim from students all around Zimbabwe, and it has helped many achieve their academic goals.

Munjoma began collecting material for the website when he was 17 and decided to make it free of charge to help break the financial barrier that prevents many in Zimbabwe from receiving an education.

Recently, Munjoma was one of 12 finalists for the Anzisha Prize, an award given to young entrepreneurs in Africa working for the greater the good. Since being a finalist for the award, Munjoma has continued his education at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, receiving a Merit Global Scholarship. Munjoma hopes to use his newfound knowledge to further Shasha iSeminar’s progress and reach, to continue to attempt to end poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe.

In the future, Munjoma wants to expand Shasha iSeminar into Zimbabwe’s neighboring countries, like Botswana and Mozambique. He also hopes to expand the website’s reach by developing online classrooms and seminars, where students can meet and learn from actual professors and engage with students in real time. Although this idea presents several challenges, like a large learning curve and slow internet, Munjoma is determined to see it through.

Julia Hettiger

Photo: Flickr

Intel Corporation is using its resources to improve education in Nigeria by teaching educators to successfully incorporate technology into classrooms. The company believes this program will be the key to increasing 21st-century employment opportunities for Nigerian students.

Intel’s technology teacher training program is being implemented in conjunction with national governments and public institutions. The program focuses on a student-centered approach to learning instead of the traditional teacher-centric one.

Through this method, the teacher serves as a guide for students and helps maintain group collaboration. The students learn together and with each other. In addition, they also choose their own areas of study which keeps them engaged and fosters a passion for learning.

Another problem related to student engagement is the generation gap. Elderly teachers are not familiar with the latest technology and therefore, shun it in the classroom. This upholds the traditional pen and paper classrooms with their teacher-centered focus leading to boredom in the classroom.

Intel’s technology teacher training will help address this problem by educating instructors. For example, Dr. Kemi Banjoko, a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, said what intrigued him the most was “the use of mobile phone and tablets in teaching.”

Intel’s corporate affairs group manager, Babatunde Akinola, stressed the importance of this education for Nigeria. He said, “The world is getting more global and if you do not fit in, you face being dis-enfranchised.”

Nigeria is a growing country with massive oil reserves and a large youth population. However, the country lacks a strong education system. Notably, the primary school attendance rate for males is 72 percent but drops to 54 percent for secondary school. The government is hoping that the inclusion of technology will help keep Nigerian students engaged in learning.

Intel’s program has trained over 10 million educators in 70 different countries and Nigeria is hoping to benefit from the collaboration. Since 2013, Intel has teamed up with major educational institutions in Nigeria like Tai Solarin University of Education and Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education.

Andrew Wildes

Sources: AllAfrica, Edutopia, Intel, TechTrends Nigeria, UNICEF
Photo: Flickr