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Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 18:02 UK

'Now our pupils can talk to the world'

Is the internet your lifeline, or your nightmare? People across Africa have been sharing their stories with BBC News. Click here to send your own story.

DRAMANE OUEDRAOGO, OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO
Dramane Ouedraogo, headteacher
How funny and reliable the internet is... isn't it amazing
Dramane Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso

The internet connection is a milestone in our school life.

With loads of information and working tips available, our teachers will update their knowledge in order to meet modern teaching challenges.

The same applies to the pupils. From now on, a good number of their homework assignments will be based on research on the internet.

They will have to investigate topics like climate change, environmental protection, and IT.

Links abroad

Furthermore, the internet will be used to link our school with partner schools like Hamilton College, in Scotland.

Pupils and staff from both schools will be able to communicate via Skype calls, video calls and forums.

For example in June, a team from Hamilton College was to visit us to run English lessons in our school.

For a better coordination of the planning, the leaders of the team and I decided to use Skype as a means of communication.

How funny and reliable the internet is! Isn't it amazing for people living in far away countries to be able to plan activities so easily?


SIMON OKECH, NAIROBI, KENYA
Liberty School, Nairobi

Our school is located deep in the slums of Kawangware in Nairobi.

The upgrading of internet services to the fast broadband will certainly boost our communication with the rest of the world.

Several partner schools in the UK have left us due to poor communication records we have had with them.

Through the broadband, we expect to heighten our communication with the world, enabling our children to appreciate the world through interactions online.

Pictures that have been a problem to download will hopefully be quick to reach the outstretched hands!



Here are some of your comments:

Khathutshelo Ndouvhada
Children in South Africa are let down by their government, says Mezu

South Africa has a high rate of unemployment and part of the problem is the number of young people that are simply not employable. Many exit the country's education system after 12 years, but only a handful find their way to higher learning institutions. I believe that the internet as an information dispensing tool is important to the future development of South Africa. The government is always going on about freedom and reducing poverty and yet they fail to see how vital access to information is. The state of the telecoms sector in South Africa is appalling to say the least. Telkom and poor government policies have made it very difficult for the average person to access the internet. My friend and I have had the privilege of attending the best universities in South Africa. The time we spent opened our eyes to a world of possibilities, a world were those with access to information are better placed to grab opportunities when they arise. My friend and I now run a small after-hours internet development studio. We also have a network of websites that we publish. Although we had formal training, I believe we learnt the bulk of what we know from forums, online tutorials and chat rooms. The loads of open source tools that people can download and start businesses, with those tools as the backbone. We know of many people from around the world who have gone to become great website designers, CG artists, and web developers. The point is that, the internet can open door for people to see the things that are out there. There are schools in the Cape Flats that have partnered with developers to offer PHP classes to their students. To some this might seem insignificant, to people like us, it's just amazing. These kids are being given a good start, even if they do not have the funds for University or Colleges, they can start their own studios. Access to information will allow the citizens to take charge of their lives, to speak out and engage in democracy.

Khathutshelo (Mezu) Ndouvhada, Johannesburg, South Africa

I was one of the team that was out in Burkina Faso in the summer and helped connect the school mentioned in this article up to the internet. I have already had a few of my classes talk to Dramane over Skype and it's great that they can see him on his webcam. They ask him questions about Africa and Burkina Faso and talk a little French to him. It is also good as he has been able to stress to them how important education is and how pupils in Burkina Faso see it as a real privilege to go to school and get an education, not something kids here in Scotland really have an understanding of.
Dave Browning, Hamilton, Scotland


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