Don’t underestimate infrastructure

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 | ICT in Africa, Implementation Issues

The hole in the picture below is an important step towards technology installation at a school in Grabouw, South Africa.  It was dug to erect a pole that will carry electricity to the school.

Hole dug to provide electricity to Umyezo Wama Apile School - picture taken by Jaco Joseph

Hole dug to provide electricity to Umyezo Wama Apile School - picture taken by Jaco Joseph

The importance of infrastructure preparation as a first step towards technology implementation in schools in Africa is often under-stated or outright ignored.

While talking about e-learning and Web 2.0 and social networks and the classroom of the future, and debating the merits and demerits of specific operating and application software products, don’t forget that there are more mundane things that can make or break your project … such as digging a hole for the electricity pole!

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4 Comments to Don’t underestimate infrastructure

Adrian Marnewick
Wednesday, 23 September, 2009

Very good point. Sometimes everyone can get very carried away with all the fancy buzzwords of the day, social media for instance, while forgetting to lay the proper foundation first. Without planned infrastructure and then training and perfecting of the most simplest of tasks, such as clicking a mouse, the whole project stands to lose.

ALBIE
Wednesday, 23 September, 2009

INFRASTRUCTURE is maybe the most important component to ensure effective digitial delivery to a school!!

Its good to have the best technology onsite, but to get it onsite (and to stay intact and in working order) the surrounding “environmental structures” must ensure its functionality. From the hole to the signal to the pole to the security to the ISP to the CEi to the peripherals to the supply of ink and so on and on ….must be in place to ensure an onsite effective digital LAB + EIAWB.

Albie the outsider

Jaco Joseph
Friday, 25 September, 2009

There is a saying:- “to many cooks spoil the broth”. This was my experience when I became aware of the electricity problem at the school. It took me almost 18 months to have the problem solve at the school. Departemental Officials were shifting the bug to one another, but in the mean time the school was suffering. Luckily a lady from Eskom knew somebody who knows somebody and eventually we could get the final paperwork to start with the project at the school. “It is not what you know but who you know to get things done sometimes”.

Mark C
Friday, 25 September, 2009

Its important to highlight issues surrounding ICT implementations as some have not gone the way we thought it would. Taking advice from a number of sources assists us and the school to provide the best solution to a problem. A good PM listens carefully to his/her client. The hole in the ground reminds me of a famous brand that advertises :”Connecting people”.

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