IT School

A few weeks ago, I ran a word processing / typing class for the kids. With my ancient Dell Inspiron 7000 laptop, which I used when I was at Loughborough University and amazingly still works!

The mighty Dell Inspiron 7000, complete with Intel Pentium II processor with 256 MB of  RAM and a floppy disk drive!

The mighty Dell Inspiron 7000, complete with Intel Pentium II processor with 256 MB of RAM and a floppy disk drive!

As I mentioned in my previous post, we take so many things for granted in the first world. Arguably, none more so than the basic computer skills we acquire as the norm. The Breakfast Club kids do not have access to a computer. So it’s not a surprise that they do not know how to type. Actually, we all had to learn… we’ve just forgotten how painful it was because it was so long ago!

Teaching the kids the basics brought it all back for me…

  • the (disobedient) mouse/touchpad
  • the (unintuitive) QWERTY layout
  • difference between <BACK SPACE> and <DELETE>
  • how to use the up, down, left, right cursor keys, and
  • the <SHIFT> key!!!

I had a really nice surprise at around the same time of this class. One Monday (kanema/cinema day), I was quite busy. So I put on a cartoon and left the kids to it. When I was still working, I heard a “knock knock”. So went to answer the door. The kids had shut down my computer properly and packed everything up for me! Quite a big leap from treating the computer as an alien object.

Separately, just this afternoon, I had a discussion with a colleague who is an ODI Fellow, also working at the Ministry of Health. She wants to set up a regular IT Drop-In session for MoH colleagues. Anyone who has a question on Windows or Office etc. For example, wants to sort data, create filters, freeze panes in Excel. Or maybe create a fancy pivot table. The iHRIS Team will be ready to support this initiative. We’ve previously talked about doing some general IT training (like the ICDL) instead of just training to use iHRIS. But we never got past the red-tape, bureaucracy and limitations due to our workload/focus. I hope this initiative materialises!

Separately again, I also just recently found out that there is a project to create the first tech hub in Malawi. The project, and probably the hub itself, is called mhub. It’s currently still a work in progress but it sounds very promising.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s a little tech revolution ready to happen in Malawi.

Makeshift workstation

Makeshift workstation

Center of attention

Center of attention

Using the SHIFT key

Using the SHIFT key

Categories: Malawi, Technology, Volunteering, VSO, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “IT School

  1. Pingback: MoH IT Drop-In Session | Herman is Out of the Office

  2. Pingback: 25 Letters in the Alphabet? | Herman is Out of the Office

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