CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Samsung has recently launched a solar school that can withstand the harsh conditions and lack of energy of some African environments.
The Samsung solar school is mobile and powered by sunlight in order to combat the less than ideal conditions many African families face on a daily basis.
The project was first launched in 2011, and now has installations in many countries throughout Africa. These Solar Powered Internet Schools (SPIS) are entirely independent classrooms that aim to increase accessibility to education in remote and impoverished areas of Africa in dire need of schools.
“Less than 25 percent of the continent’s rural areas have access to reliable electricity supplies, leaving many isolated and disconnected. Remote areas often experience problems with power supply and rely on diesel- or petrol-driven generators, which are expensive to purchase and maintain. Samsung’s Solar Power Generator presents an alternative solution. It provides easy power accessibility at an affordable price, saving communities money on electricity costs, which can be used in other, more important, areas – such as infrastructure,” said Ntutule Tshenye, Head of Public Affairs & Corporate Citizenship for Samsung in Africa in an interview with Gadget Magazine.
Each SPIS is built in a 40 feet long shipping container, which means this makes them easily transportable by truck or ship so they can be set up in difficult to reach and remote areas. The solar powered schools are specifically designed for harsh African conditions, and can withstand energy-scarce environments indefinitely as well as inclement weather conditions and transportation over long distances.
The classrooms can comfortably sit 24 students. They also include several layers of insulation and a ventilation system to ensure the environment is comfortable for the students and the teacher.
Each classroom is also fitted with a large electronic whiteboard, often referred to as a “smartboard”, and it too features different Samsung Notebooks and Netbooks, all of which are optimized for use in a solar-powered environment. These devices are imperative to stimulate interactive learning.
These Samsung solar schools are critical part of the companies ‘Built for Africa’ campaign, which focuses on developing advanced technological solutions that meet Africa’s needs. It is also a part of Samsung’s global ‘Hope for Children’ initiative, which strives to better the lives of five million Africans by 2015.
They can also be used as adult learning centers in the evenings and on weekends in order to better educate the adult populations. There is potential for community use as well in general to establish and run small businesses as the project expands. This will create employment and improve living conditions for those living in extreme poverty.
The SPIS sports fold-away solar panels to provide enough energy to power the classrooms and the equipment it holds. The panels are made from rubber, rather than glass, to ensure they are sturdy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent in order to provide education to everyone who needs it.
– Cara Morgan
Sources: AllAfrica, CNET, Gadget, Samsung