Madagascar/Maroantsetra

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Contents

Demographics

Photo by Jonathan Talbot, World Resources Institute, 2004. Maroantsetra, Madagascar. The nearby national park (Masoala) has brought employment and tourism to the region, but many people still struggle in an informal economy. There were only five landlines for the entire town as of early 2004.

Maroantsetra School

New Library- CLAC- Under the direction of the Mayor we were able to setup the XOs each afternoon from 2:30 until 4:30. During the school break there were as many as 70 children appearing. When School started again in October the Wednesday session drew a number of children. Otherwise 2 local schools have invited us to bring the computers for afternoon sessions.

City Description

City: Maroantsetra

Location: 15°26′0″S[1]49°45′0″E, Maroantsetra is the regional capital

Province: Toamasina (Tamatave)

Nearest Airport: Maroantsetra Regional Airport (WMN)

Road Access: Maroantsetra is connected to Toamasina (Tamatave) and then to Antananarivo (national capital) by RN5, a very difficult road network that is unpassable during times of the year.

Technology: Electricity comes from a generation and is patchily run throughout the day, often going through day or weeklong blackouts with very limited service. In January of 2006, cell phone networks were introduced to Maroantsetra but internet was not available until September, 2008. As of now, internet is so expensive and caters only to foreign tourists and local elite.

Postal Address:

Rasolofoniaina Be Jean Rololph Lot Z1-056 Ankiakandrefana Maroantsetra (512) Madagascar

Province

Toamasina (Tamatave)

Nearest Airport

Maroantsetra Regional Airport (WMN)

Road Access

Maroantsetra is connected to Toamasina (Tamatave) and then to Antananarivo (national capital) by RN5, a very difficult road network that is unpassable during times of the year.

Technology

Electricity comes from a generation and is patchily run throughout the day, often going through day or weeklong blackouts with very limited service. In January of 2006, cell phone networks were introduced to Maroantsetra but internet was not available until September, 2008. As of now, internet is so expensive and caters only to foreign tourists and local elite.

Postal Address

Rasolofoniaina Be Jean Rololph

Lot Z1-056Ankiakandrefana

Maroantsetra (512)

Madagascar

School Description

School

School: Lycee Mangarivotra (High School)

Photos

none available yet

Video

On Youtube. [2]

Building

The building consists of two long, one-floor buildings with a total of 8 classrooms. Each classroom is equipped with shared desks and a large blackboard. Student Targeting: The best way to target students in this city with such a large student network but still non-existent computer skills is to target afterschool programs for advanced students that may be interested in learning computer technology. Afterschool programs typically have approximately 12-20 students which is ideal with the number of XO computers which we have collected.

Student Targeting

The best way to target students in this city with such a large student network but still non-existent computer skills is to target after school programs for advanced students that may be interested in learning computer technology. After school programs typically have approximately 12-20 students which is ideal with the number of XO computers which we have collected.

Teachers

More information to come once we have found an interested teacher. The school is run by the provincial government of Toamasina (Tamatave) but locally administered by the Maroantsetra school council.

Impediments

  • Electricity, as described above, is a major impediment to this project although with a small computer base, solar panels may be ideal for running these XOs.
  • Internet access, as described above, is locally provided by a range of cell phone networks. There is very patchy signal quality for cell phones and Internet is slow.
  • No school in this city has a computer-based curriculum which makes the transition to a computer-mediated environment difficult.

Deployment

This deployment strategy will serve as a pilot approach in an after school program which, if successful, and funding permitted, can then be mainstreamed into the public school system. This will require a smaller batch of XOs and can be sustained by a mesh architecture.

This approach can serve to be an important research test bed for sustainable IT, adoption of computer-mediated education, curriculum development, etc.

Time Frame

The project initiated around October of 2009, which began with some training and local implementation. We are working on following up with assessments.

Funding

As is the case with most deployments, the potential owners of the XOs and their families cannot afford to pay for these technologies. The funding for this project will have to come from a research grant, donation, or some combination thereof.

Why Maroantsetra?

Maroantsetra is a regional capital in Madagascar with one of the poorest educational performances nationally as the local infrastructure and government funding is unequally allocated to this area. Training in computers and the enhanced interest given to a computer-mediated educational system may provide some of these students with a leg up in joining the leagues of university students. The Betsimisaraka and Tsimihety tribes which comprise the majority of the population in Maroantsetra are gravely underrepresented in national politics and job structures. It is my hope that an improved education system may assist this population in attaining nationally recognized test scores and educational performance.

Contact

"June Kleider" <jkleider@sonic.net>

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