Hoja Solar Classroom

One way in which Hoja Secondary has set itself apart from other schools in Tanzania is through the use of innovative education techniques. Oswin Mahundi, director of The Hoja Project, explains that "students interact more with their peers and teachers at Hoja Secondary, different from the normal government school."

The Hoja Solar Classroom enhanced the teachers' ability to use innovative techniques to engage students. The installation of the classroom was completed in 2014 and was supported by Cititec and performed by SAIN (Scientific Advisory and Information Network).

The classroom consists of six laptops and a projector screen. The method of teaching is taken from Professor Sugata Mitra's research on Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) which "demonstrates that groups of children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers on their own." The idea behind the model is that students share computers so that they can learn together, whilst the teacher uses the projector screen for demonstration purposes.

Two years prior to the installation of the classroom, the average grade at Hoja Secondary was a C; within a year of the classroom being constructed, this had increased to a B. Whilst other developments at the school were completed in this time, to which some of the improvement can be attributed, students feel that the computers have greatly benefitted them.

Glory Challe, a Form Three student explains; "I have been hearing about computers for a long time but here at Hoja Secondary is my first time to touch a computer. These computers are helping us to do many things, we can now learn English and Science practicals through movies."

Furthermore, there is sufficient solar power generated that lights have been installed throughout the school. The lights enable students to gain extra hours of studying in the evening, which was previously difficult given that it begins to get dark at 6:30pm. Shaiza Omary, a Form Three student explains; "studying extra hours helps me to revise what I have been taught during the day, to keep it in my head."

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