Accra Street Academy

Our team in Ghana made a second visit to The Street Academy in Accra yesterday. You may recall that back in March 2012, Computer Reach and our partners provided the school with 5 Linux Edubuntu laptops. The Street Academy uses education, culture, and sports to expose the hidden talents of children living on the streets of Accra. Thanks to this donation, the students were able to take computer lessons everyday, the school set up additional after school activity time for this.

As you can imagine, the kids were very excited to learn how computers can be used in daily life: typing, writing, reading, gathering information, sending emails, and the always popular games!

On Friday, October 12th, our team visited the school and it’s Executive Director, Ataa Lartey. When we checked in on the laptops from March, we found a few surprises. Lyz Krumbach wrote about these findings on her blog:

We did get our first taste of what Ubuntu bug #1 looks like though when we had a look at the computers that Computer Reach sent them several months ago:

Yes, that’s Windows, replacing the copy of Edubuntu that had previously been on there. The origins of the copies of Windows were dubious, and one of the 3 working computers had a completely corrupted version that prevented it from booting. This is one of the major challenges faced with these deployments when you don’t have constant on the ground staff (which we’re working on getting), the people who end up maintaining the systems there tend to reinstall the systems with something they’re familiar with – meaning Windows. We took the computers with us back to the hotel to get Edubuntu reinstalled so they could get all their educational software back.

On Wednesday, our team returned to the school with the re-imaged laptops to do some training. We were joined by a few members of the Accra Linux Users Group who have agreed to help maintain the computers at the school for the long-term.

Nancy also wrote a blog post about the visit, she noted:

We sat with the teachers and stepped them through the use of the laptops and the educational games and programs. They were excited to see the programs that fit right in with the lessons they were already teaching.

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