Hi! Welcome to our site! We decided to call this blog "Yum Chapatis," because we look forward to eating lots of yummy, doughy, chapatis this year :) For now, here's a yummy recipe: click here. Throughout the year we'll try to post photos and updates to yumchapatis.com. Send some love our way!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kasiisi Project and OLPC

February 18, 2010

I wanted to share some pictures of yesterday in the classroom. These are of the computer class for P6 kids. I'll explain more below. First, I volunteer with the Kasiisi Project (a Boston-based NGO) and its Ugandan counterpart Kibale Forest Schools and Student Support Project (or KFS-SSP). These NGOs support five schools within the vicinity of the Kibale National Park (Kasiisi, Kiko, Kyanyawara, Kigarama, and Rweteera Primary Schools). Support is provided by way of scholarships to students who excel on their PLEs (or Primary Leaving Exams) for Secondary School. The easiest way to explain this is by saying the P1-P7 is like Elementary School in the States, and the S1-S6 is like Middle and High School. Primary School is funded by the Ugandan Gov't through UPE (or Universal Public Education), but not Secondary School. Other support the NGO provides includes a Girls Program for health and sanitation, conservation education, infrastructure
development, and a school lunch program (this one is primarily run by a sister program out of the UK called the Kasiisi Porridge Project).

In previous posts, I've said I'd be showing short films on conservation,which is still true, but slow in being organized (we're still waiting on important things to be printed and made). In the interim, I'm helping with
the OLPC (one laptop per child) program that was set up at Kasiisi School last summer by others (Jeff Bittner, Ian Wrangham, and Mathew Koojo). You can see the blog here: olpckasiisi.blogspot.com. I go to Kasiisi School 2-3 days a week for the afternoon to help Jeff (who's still here) and Chris (a new 3 month volunteer) with entering questions from student text books on a wireless server so the kids can take quizes on their XOs (the computers in the pics). It's pretty cool. This quiz-taking has just gotten underway, so I'll let you know how it goes.

In the pictures here, the kids are all playing a geography game called Geoquiz, which teaches them the countries of Africa (and South America if they so choose). A country is highlighted on a map, and 3-9 choices are offered on the screen, one being correct. It took a while to teach the kids that you had to highlight the correct country before telling the computer that it was your choice, but this week they seemed to understand much better (and we showed them the trick that makes the selection among three, rather than five countries). One of the kids, Edwin, is better at African geography than me, I think, and the rest are over the entire range of not knowing which is Uganda to knowing somewhere in between. I think that many are probably still struggling with the concept of highlighting the correct country from the options before selecting it. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

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