Monday, January 25, 2010

Some Bizarre Development Projects #1

As an aid worker, I have the opportunity to observe some bizarre development projects implemented by foreign agencies, whether government or not.  To start off this series, I begin with my very own school, Saba-Saba Day Secondary School.

When I did my first tour of Saba-Saba, I was first struck by its threadbare facilities.  Then I was struck by the existence of five computers.  They seemed so out of place in a school that did not even have proper ceiling.  An NGO called NO-PC (the name actually sounds the exact opposite from what they do) donated five computers to the school, along with a subscription to Internet.  How nice of them.

One problem, however, is that the computer OS is Linux, which I’m not how useful it is for the students here who enter a world of Windows.  The anti-Microsofters can debate this one out.

But perhaps the real problem is that they just gave the school five computers, and left.  No one in the school knows how to work these computers.  If NO-PC intended them to be educational, then they fail for not providing the educator.  The computers will move from the staff room to the library, but still, there is much confusion over what to do with them.  I think everyone at Saba-Saba would have been much happier with a photo copy machine, or a projector. 

Of course, you’re more than welcome to help with the above two.

Jan 15.

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