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SciTech

Solar-powered iPads boost rural education in Zimbabwe


A solar-powered version of Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet may go a long way in helping children in remote rural areas in Zimbabwe get an education. Zimbabwe's government has entered into a joint venture with Apple to distribute the solar-powered iPads to the remote schools, Zimbabwe's Newsday reported. "I am very excited that Zimbabwe is collaborating with Apple in this ground breaking use of technology to advance education in the most remote schools. If we can get it to work in Zimbabwe I am sure it will spread to poor schools throughout Africa - and beyond," Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart said in his Facebook page. He voiced hopes the first pilot programs will get started in early 2012. Coltart said he met with Apple representatives in Paris earlier this week, and discussed a "School Box" that will take iPads to remote rural schools. "(U)sing solar power and micro projectors we will be able to bring computerised teaching aids to the poorest schools. I hope we will get the first pilot programmes started early next year," he said. The Newsday report noted students in developed nations use the sleek iPads to develop reports, conduct research, read e-books and study. But it also noted iPads can be connected to a projector and easily share a multi-media presentation. The report said most rural schools in Zimbabwe lack basic infrastructure and several computers donated by President Robert Mugabe as part of his rural computerization program have been stolen or remained unused due to lack of electricity. — TJD, GMA News
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