Impact of Uganda's Solar Power Technology to Education
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Impact of Uganda’s Solar Power Technology to Education
The solar power technology has made possible for education to go a notch higher. A case in point is the teaching of IT and computer skills in the rural areas of Uganda. Computers need to use electricity and with the power shortages in Uganda and lack of grid supply in rural areas, rural schools are left behind in fostering these skills that are important to the world today. This fact made one man, Eric Morrow, founder of the Maendeleo Foundation based in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, to devise a plan that was meant to ensure that Ugandan students were taught computer skills. In doing his research Morrow found out that most of the Ugandan schools lacked technology savvy teachers and lacked the finances to purchase computers. He thus consulted with a number of other NGOs and they came up with a plan whose goal was to give the teachers and the students in the Ugandan schools a taste of what working with computers was (Nassali, 2010).
The fact that only five percent of the Ugandans have access to electricity and only three percent would afford it, made them to consider solar technology. They then put in place a self powered and self contained power source system that was composed of three, 75-watt solar panels on top of a four will drive. This provided power for the computers that the project was using to deliver computer lessons to various students across the country. In the project the coordinators used the Intel-powered Classroom PCs that were able to withstand the extremes in temperatures and the dust in these rural areas. The Intel-powered classroom PCs were also energy efficient running for six hours from solar charged batteries without a problem.
So far the Maendeleo Fo...
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...ion to the honey that they harvest from the beehives. A factory has been built in this place that uses solar energy which in turn has led to increased employment opportunities for the area. The factory is also a major buyer of honey from the members of the community and this makes it a major source of income to the residents of the area (Karekezi, 1994).
Though there is a promising future for the Ugandan economy if all the stakeholders appreciate the potential for solar technology, there are still some challenges towards widespread use of his technology. Some of these challenges include: limited capacity of the private sector to procure PV systems in large quantities so as to benefit from economies of scale, lack of enough information on the benefits of solar PV and low levels of affordability in the rural areas especially due to the high upfront costs associated.