learning at LITA in Macha, Zambia

This is wonderful achievment!  As regular readers on my blog may know, I was recently privileged to visit the LITA school in Macha, Zambia and to meet the teachers Jon, Greg and the students there.  So, that you don't even have to click a link, I am simply copying Jon's post below:

"Submitted by jbackens on Sat, 13/10/2007 - 09:36. LinkNet Information Technology Academy (LITA)

This past week LinkNet celebrated the graduation of the very first class from the LinkNet Information Technology Academy. This inaugural class of nine students had successfully completely the four month training program to become Computer Technicians which began in June.  LITA was also honored to have Dr. Charles K. Wamukwamba, the Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Zambia present to witness the event. 

The LITA class of '07 showed remarkable achievement as all of the students passed the coarse in their very first attempt.  Of those who passed, five students also recieved "merit" recognition for their academic strength and will go on immediately to write the A+ international computer technicians exam in Lusaka.  Hopefully these students will become among the first in Zambia to recieve such a certification and certainly the first from rural areas. If the students do succeed then they will join some 200,000 certified technicians around the world. The remainder of the class was given the option to continue to study and pursue international certification in January.

The computer technician curriculum used was the well known CompTIA A+ material used throughout the world, however this material is very new to Southern Africa and specifically Zambia (only 1 textbook was available in all of Lusaka). It is truly remarkable how much the students achieved in such a short amount of time and with limited computer exposure previous to this coarse. This class not only had to learn the material for A+ but being the first training class of its kind in Macha was required to build its own classroom.  The students constructed all the PCs as well as building and testing the network for LITA.  This first class will mark the foundation for the LinkNet trainings to continue in 2008.

In January 2008, LITA in conjunction with LinkNet implementation partner sites, will begin in taking again for a new class of 12 students. The training modules for 2008 are nearly complete and will involve 3 levels of training with each level taking 3 months.  The first level of training will be an guided introductory coarse in computing based on the ICDL curriculum with various piece tweaked for Rural Zambia and LinkNet technologies.  The second level of training will be an A+ equivalent class again with a third level to follow which includes specialization into either Microsoft certifications or networking/server training. It is hoped that as new construction finishes at the Ubuntu Campus and classrooms are moved there that class sizes will increase to 20 students per training level... brining a total training capacity of LITA to 60 students per time by the end of 2008."

Link to Graduation of LITA's first class of students | LinkNet

Here is link to a list of needs for the school.  Also, I am working with Microsoft Learning to supply more advanced curriculum materials, and, hopefully, to facilitate funding to support visiting Microsoft Certified Trainers, so that both the teachers and students in Macha can continue their education using MSL's materials as part of their technical curriculum plan.