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Chania High School Alumni donate KEs. 1.5 million worth of e-learning centre.

UK-based alumni Harpal Punia (centre) hands over part of the IT material donated to the school by The Thika Alumni Trust (TTAT) to the Principal Peter Kariuki (in dark suit), Kiambu County C.E.C for Education Ms. Esther Ndirangu, parents, BOM members and students of Chania Boys High School. 
The excitement of seeing students browse through the computer for knowledge was palpable at the Chania Boys’ High School e-learning centre on Thursday afternoon. Their joy could be felt from afar as they received computers and digital material worth KEs. 1.5 million that had been donated by The Thika Alumni Trust (TTAT), ex-students of M P Shah Central High School (now Chania Boys’ and Girls’ High schools).

Harpal Punia said that he plus other alumni of the school living in the United Kingdom (UK), joined hands to form TTAT, a charitable organisation aimed at giving back to their former schools.

“As ex-students of Chania (Boys & Girls) High School in the UK, we came together and raised money to assist the school improve its infrastructure and enable the students get better education. When we talked to the principal, he informed us that one of his key priority was to have a school e-learning centre. We developed some really modern technology called RACHEL for the centre,” said Punia, one of the brains behind the whole exercise.

RACHEL or Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning is one of the most innovative technology solution for delivering free educational resources to developing communities, a prototype of a free offline digital library, a collection of leading educational resources, rebuilt as software that can be installed on any computer.  

It is a collection of leading educational websites, rebuilt offline, for use in communities without internet. RACHEL content contains an encyclopedia (Wikipedia), video lectures (Khan Academy), textbooks (CK-12), educational games, coding programs, medical resources, and much more.
TTAT has also delivered free Wi-Fi that makes it possible for the teachers and students to access the internet and assist them in their studies.

“We have delivered wide range Wi-Fi connection that is available to teachers prepare their lessons before they come to class and run through it,” Punia explained.

Chania Boys High School is actually the first school in the country to enjoy this world-class technology.

Kiambu County C.E.C for Education ICT, Culture and Social Services Ms. Esther Ndirangu was a guest at the function was so impressed with the comprehensive learning content in the new system and the simplicity of its content delivery to the learners.

“What has impressed me most is that these computers are very well equipped with all the educational materials needed by the learners. The programming is very user friendly, there are a lot of explanations in there and ample revision exercises to do after every concept learnt,” said the CEC.

She acknowledged that this initiative would boost teaching and learning in the school as it assisted learners to learn at their own pace and at their own leisure.

She appealed to alumni from other schools to emulate this gesture and work out similar initiatives for their former schools so that we could improve the education standards of Kiambu County and guarantee a great future for the children.
Harpal Punia explains a point about the operations of the new systems to the CEC Education Esther Ndirangu as some students browse through the systems.

The school Principal Mr. Peter M. Kariuki thanked the donors for their continued support to the school over the last few years.

“We are so grateful to these group of alumni who have been assisting us through various programmes. They started by donating KES. 100,000 worth of books for our library and later supplied furniture worth KES. 64,000 for our Dining Hall. They have today supplied 30 computers and e-learning material worth KES. 1.5 million,” said Mr. Kariuki.

He explained that this latest project would assist in occupying the boys and incorporating them into the global village. He acknowledged that the school was now at per with other world topnotch schools in terms of accessibility of learning content, a factor that will go a long way in improving the students’ grades and their adaptability to the global environment.

“Our teachers now have a resource centre for use in lesson preparation. It will also ease the burden of teaching and learning. I believe that in a few years’ time, Chania Boys High School will be among the leading learning centres in the country,” acknowledged the principal.

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