Who Are we?

Mission

Computers for Zambian Schools’ (CFZS) mission is to help Transform ICT Education in Zambia , by :

  1. Providing schools with access to good-quality, low-cost refurbished desktop and laptop computers, projectors, printers. This enables the schools to provide their pupils with the essential ICT skills they need to thrive in the digital economy. Since 2006, CFZS has distributed over 13,000 computers to more than 800 schools in Zambia.
  2. Providing relevant ICT teaching and learning materials (TLMs) - providing free electronic educational content to assist with the TLMs shortage, teacher training, and technical support.

CFZS Structure

Computers for Zambian Schools (CFZS) is a registered Trust, with a Board of independent Trustees. The organisation currently employs five staff – a Programme Manager, Admin/Warehouse Assistant, two technicians and a part-time Accountant. The charity has recently initiated an Internship Programme , aimed at offering young graduates (from school or college) the opportunity to gain work experience. The charity’s office is at Felopater House, Kabelenga Road, across the road from Levy Mall.

Sourcing Computers

CFZS sources computers from a UK registered charity, IT Schools Africa (ITSA). In the UK, ITSA’s operations include:
  • Fundraising to subsidise the cost of computers
  • Undertaking promotions and marketing to generate donations of computer equipment
  • Collecting computers from organisations across the country
  • Erasing all the hard drives
  • Refurbishing and testing the equipment
  • Loading new software – e.g. Licensed Windows 7 Operating System
  • Packing the equipment ready for shipment

Computer Specifications

ITSA provides CFZS with complete sets of good quality, low-cost desktop computers, including CPU, flat screen, keyboard (UK), mouse and two UK mains leads. All the computers meet or exceed an agreed minimum specification. The computers are from a wide range of leading brands, including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Fujitsu-Siemens and RM, and are typically 4-6 years old. Currently, our minimum specification is:

Processor 2.8 Ghz
RAM 2GB
Hard-drive 80GB- 500GB
Media CD-R, CD-RW or DVD-R
Connectivity Working network card
Software Windows 7.

CFZS Operations

Importation of computers

ITSA ships the computers to CFZS in 20’ (500 computers) or 40’ (1000 computers) shipping containers. On arrival, CFZS co-ordinates the clearing of the containers, liaising with the clearing agents and ZRA. In order to keep the cost recovery fee as low as possible it is important that CFZS is able to import the computers free of duty.

Testing

Before the computers are issued to the schools, all the equipment is fully re-tested to detect and repair any failures due to damage in transit

Communication to schools

CFZS seeks to inform schools of the scheme through a range of methods including school visits, communicating through the District Education Board Secretaries, presenting at meetings of Head Teachers, social media and newspaper advertisements.

Computer distribution

CFZS’s primary focus is government, private, grant aided and community schools. Any such school may apply to receive computers from the scheme. After payment of the cost-recovery fee, the schools collect the computers from CFZS’s warehouse in Lusaka.

Technical support

CFZS provides on-going support to schools who have received computers through the programme. Faulty computers may be returned to CFZS for repair; computers (to schools) come with a 90-day warranty . CFZS staff also conduct school visits to monitor how the equipment is performing.

Recycling

When the computers have come to the end of their life in schools, i.e. are obsolete or beyond economic repair, the schools can return the equipment to CFZS, free of charge for recycling. CFZS arranges for this equipment to be recycled at a local recycling company.

Education

Educational software

CFZS provides free educational content pre-installed on specific computers for the teachers to use. This electronic educational content acts as a support to the already existing TLMs that the schools might have, although in most cases the resources are few and outdated. This e-educational content, a 40GBs in size, covers a large range of topics, aimed at primary, secondary and even college level.

Teacher training

Anyone identified by a head teacher or person in-charge. This can be an ICT Teacher, or teacher in any other subject.

  • Who can be trained?
  • Anyone identified by a head teacher or person in-charge. This can be an ICT Teacher, or teacher in any other subject.

  • Where and how are they trained?
  • The trainer (s) can visit schools/community centres and provide training on-site. This is due to the nature of the training which though short, requires as much practise with the computers as possible. With the Mena Foundation using their revolutionary method ‘’viral teaching method’’, we ‘’teach others to teach others’’. We charge a small fee to cover the training costs, these would be reviewed on a case by case basis.

  • What kind of ICT training is provided and based on which certification standards?
    1. The teacher training is entirely modelled on the primary or secondary school curriculum set out by the Zambian Ministry of Education (MOE), with some additional relevant ICT information. A Certificate of Attendance is awarded upon successful completion of the course.
    2. Microsoft approved course, which teaches the basic of a computer. A Microsoft certificate of modules covered is awarded.
    3. Basic trouble shooting, computer hardware maintenance is also taught.

    * A pre and post assessment is taken before trainings to track, monitor and record the effectiveness of the MENA Foundation training. Thus far we have had success, with pre assessment testing showing at 18%, but after the training (post) the test scores were above the national average of ICT scores at 87% !


  • When and how long is the training?
  • The training can be delivered through-out the year, to suit the needs of the learning institutions. This short course (12-14 Day) teacher training programme provides school teachers with the technical and delivery skills needed to tech the MOEs official ICT Syllabus. This teacher training not only helps the students, but also plays an integral role in the professional development and training of the teachers. The course can be delivered in-house or the technicians can visit schools/community centres and provide training on-site.

    Financial Sustainability

    Computers for Zambian Schools runs a financially sustainable operation, it generates income in two ways:

    • Charging the schools a cost recovery fee for each computer. This fee is less than the full cost incurred - it is subsidised by fundraising by IT Schools Africa in the UK. Currently, the cost recovery fee for state schools is K1,400* per computer.

    The revenue generated covers CFZS’s running costs (premises, wages, and clearance costs) and contribute to the ITSA’s costs in collecting, refurbishing and shipping the computers. *(Subject to change)

    The Future

    CFZS plans for the future include::

    • Continually improving the quality of equipment provided to Zambian schools.
    • Include more educational content on the computers so that they may be used to improve the teaching of other subjects.
    • To improve the provision of computers for rural schools.
    • To provide more teaching tools; digital projectors and scanners to the schools
    • Develop Centres of Excellence for ICT Learning, providing IT Labs to vulnerable communities, to expand the reach of CFZS