Solar Panels: how they can impact education in Africa
Updated: Aug 5
Solar panels were recently installed in Mobai, Sierra Leone; a big victory for the communities in Mobai, as well as for us. The significance of solar panels goes beyond having consistent electricity. It means students and teachers within the small community can now access the computers, laptops, and printers we had provided them from the funds raised in our #KeepMobaiAlive campaign. Benefits of the solar panels include schools being able to save significant amounts of money on electricity, allowing funds to be directed to other spending means. For example, with more money saved, funding can be poured into educational and recreational enrichment activities for children. Moreover, in the long run, this could mean free education beyond the primary level for students as funds continue to be saved and redirected.
Furthermore, the installed solar panels create more opportunities for children to study with stable lighting, consequently encouraging an increase in literacy rates in Sierra Leone. As it currently stands, Sierra Leone is among the few countries with low literacy rates.
Whilst the average literacy rate in Sub-Saharan Africa was 65.47% in 2019, in 2018 the average for Sierra Leone was 43.2%. This figure compared to the lowest literacy rate in 2019, at 34.5% in South Sudan is not so far off.
Several issues contribute to such low literacy rates in Africa, especially Sierra Leone. The Civil War from 1991 to 2002 caused a breakdown in the education system. Starting from the wiping out of primary schools to forcing young children out of school to take on roles that are not deemed safe for young children to engage in. Lack of funding and challenges to the recovery of education in Sierra Leone has also made it difficult to rebuild school facilities. Not enough funding is pushed into training and qualifying teachers, creating a shortage in qualified teachers suitable to educate young children beyond the compulsory nine years of education. As well as this, there is a massive scarcity of resources, such as textbooks, school uniforms, usable digital technology, and tables and chairs for children to use to learn. And of course, limited access to electricity has made it difficult for children to maintain a stable and effective education.
Likewise, in Nigeria, 10.5 million children are not enrolled in education due to economic struggles, which can be avoided through the added benefits of solar panels. Through our partnership with Clever Minds Educational Foundation, we can close the economic gap for children in Warri, Nigeria. We hope that with the funds raised through our Building CleverMinds campaign we will be able to provide new opportunities for 250 orphans and provide them with better educational access like we have for the communities in Mobai, Sierra Leone.
Join us in raising £3000 by the 29th of August, to support the building of a school in Warri, Nigeria for the 250 orphaned children who need a safe place to learn and grow.
Donate to improve 250 lives using the link below.
We also understand that not everyone will be able to give at this time and so you can also help us by sharing this blog with your friends and family.
Education is a basic human right and should be treated as such. Every child deserves a chance.
Website: https://www.gracesustainsafrica.org/ Charity Number: 1189092