SolarSchools is an educational project. Pupils from the eigthth grade of primary school meet a new part of the world in a personal way. They learn to compare their own environment and culture with those of children in a developing country. They learn to think about different ways of communication and they reflect on their own and other's work. This is done through interactive lessons and communication with peers through social media.
Children meet peers personally from a different culture
Compared to the daily life in the Netherlands, children live completely other lifes in a rural situation in development countries. For instance: they go to school for half a day and work the other half of the day. Or they go to a boarding school. The children are eager to learn and have dreams for the future. English lessons and computer education will make their job prospectives improve, so their dream will be fulfilled.
In a developing country education is less well organized than we are used to. Therefore it is important to work together with motivated and enthusiastic teachers. Sometimes there are factors you have no influence on. During the rainy season sometimes the Internet does not work or lessons dilapidate because children must work at home.
This has consequences to the communication with the Netherlands. When no feedback is possible, SolarSchools provides in materials. The education program can always continue.
Is SolarSchools an option for your school?
SolarSchools provides all materials so you can get started soon. It is important to realize it is your own project. SolarSchools plays only the role of a facilitator to get the 'machine' started.
A Dutch primary school that wants to use SolarSchools has to take into account a number of things:
- An existing relationship with a school in a developing country is a plus. For example, it is useful to join a development project of a private initiative in your own city. Then you organize fund raising and PR jointly.
- Most important success factor is to work with motivated teachers, here and there. Never start a project without this pre-condition!
- Solar panels on the Dutch school are an interesting option to organize a long-term earning model. The school has to have a suitable roof for this.
- SolarSchools is not an once only. In the first year, the fund raising takes place. After that it comes back annually as a lesson cycle for the eigthth grade. In addition a budget is occasionally needed for the partner school, for instance after 5 years for replacement of computers.
- Introduction lesson (2 hours) provided by PicoSol. Children are introduced to the project, solar energy and communication through icons and social media.
- 3 to 5 Lessons of 2 hours.(dependent to the amount of themes that are selected to use)
- Central final afternoon of the project.
- Spread of lessons over 12 weeks in the months till and with June.
- A manual of the education programm is included, for preparation of the lessons. The preparation takes about two hours for the introduction lesson.
- Preparing the thematical lessons takes up to 30 minutes per lesson.
In the download section of the website are various materials available. These have been developed for a partnership between a Dutch and a Cambodian school. For different countries an adjustment has to be made.
- Currently, our pool provides 5 fully detailed thematical lessons (focussed to Cambodia) including explanation of the needed preparations.
- Separated education materials (pictures, video's and theory)
- General information about the organization, funding and support of the project.