Thierry Shumbusho and John Bagabo

Volcano Tech Hub

The rapid growth in Information Communication and Technologies (ICT) has brought remarkable changes in the twenty-first century, as well as affected the demands of modern societies (Jamieson-Proctor, Burnett, Finger & Watson, 2006).

Published: 2 December 2020

The rapid growth in Information Communication and Technologies (ICT) has brought remarkable changes in the twenty-first century, as well as affected the demands of modern societies (Jamieson-Proctor, Burnett, Finger & Watson, 2006). ICT has transformed the way people communicate and conduct business during the past decade (UNESCO, 2002). ICT can change the nature of learning as well as educators’ and learners’ roles in the teaching and learning process (UNESCO, 2002). Therefore, there is a growing demand for educational institutions around the globe to use ICT to teach the skills and knowledge students need for the 21st century (UNESCO, 2002).
In today’s world, technology is rapidly pervading many fields of human endeavour. Technology continues to have a significant impact on higher education. Nowadays, most educational institutions are equipped with computer labs to provide training for students that qualify them for their professional life. In today’s educational environment, the need to provide classrooms with the best educational technology available is vital. However, incorporating technology in education in DRC has become a challenge yet, well-managed technology-based education in school provides a positive learning environment that improves students’ performance and increases their academic engagement and achievement. Change to come soon in DRC Education.

VOLCANO TECH HUB is a non-profit organisation founded by two scholars who seek to solve the challenge in DRC education by the use of technology in schools. This organisation started in December 2018. DRC has got over 20.000 primary schools and 8000 secondary schools, both private and public. The systems are based on the Belgium curriculum, i.e., traditional methodology of teaching is still the practice, no new information or opportunity given to the student for creativity. The civil wars have greatly affected the ability of pupils and students in DRC to receive quality and functional education, and this has led to student’s failure in their state examinations.
What is functional and quality education? What is a computer or technology-based learning? Do we practice these in our country? These are two big questions we should ask ourselves in this modern world.

THE PROBLEM AFFECTING STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND SCHOOL LEADERS
DRC is a country that has faced many problems since 1994 up-to-date. Insecurity, Violence in human rights, kidnapping, and disaster problem such as Ebola which has affected many lives in the country generally and specifically, DRC has encountered challenges in its education system. The education system is lacking many things, and it still traditional; it does not expose students to the modern world of technology. The country’s education program is facing problem such as:
– Lack of resources
– Inadequate infrastructure, i.e., Computer labs and libraries in most of the schools
– No Electricity in schools it is hard to use a computer without power
– Poor education and poor quality of teachers
– 85% of schools have no single computer and have no libraries to promote research.
– Most schools write their report manually, and in the period of wars, most of the documents were lost and others destroyed; it is hard for some student to find back their original records.
– Lack of technology integration in education which leads to 80% failure of students in examinations.
All these have caused the lack of creativity amongst student and

WHY VOLCANO TECH HUB AND HOW IT IS ADDRESSING THE ISSUE?
DRC is a country that is backward in terms of technology and needs a quick resolution.
We are working with different advisors and Government leaders to bridge the technological gaps in education by:
– Building community awareness about the importance of technology in education and facilitating the creation of Head of schools association that can enhance the use of technology in schools.
– Training teachers in modern techniques of teaching by the use of technology.
– Creating a community computer lab (CCL) which will help schools for research and connections among themselves and promote a competitive environment.
– Forming Clubs in different schools following the students’ career and encouraging debate in various schools on leadership and entrepreneurship since technology is the only tool to help them in formulating their project concepts.
– Working with the Head of schools in arranging exams and facilitating examination exchange in schools to improve performance, reduce corruption, and school assessment.
– Creating a platform that allows student-teacher learning, facilitate school adverts and reporting system, networking with the rest of the world, and promoting school projects.

ABOUT VOLCANO TECH HUB
The rapid growth in Information Communication and Technologies (ICT) has brought remarkable changes in the twenty-first century, as well as affected the demands of modern societies (Jamieson-Proctor, Burnett, Finger & Watson, 2006). ICT has transformed the way people communicate and conduct business during the past decade. ICT can change the nature of learning as well as educators’ and learners’ roles in the teaching and learning process. Therefore, there is a growing demand for educational institutions around the globe to use ICT to teach the skills and knowledge students need for the 21st century (UNESCO, 2002).
Realising the effect of ICT on the workplace and everyday life, today’s educational institutions still failed to try to restructure their educational curricula and classroom facilities to bridge the existing technology gap in teaching and learning. VOLCANO TECH HUB seeks for effective adoption of technologies into the current environment to provide learners with knowledge of specific subject areas, to promote meaningful learning, and to enhance professional productivity. A considerable amount of money is required to be spent on hardware, software, and infrastructure such as computer laboratories, internet, and science resource centres equipped with modern technology facilities to support teaching and learning in DRC. The lack of infrastructure in schools, government institutions and business where technology plays an essential role in this call worldwide rich country, where all kind of minerals are found good agricultural land, and largest dam that can produce enough electricity is among the most pressing issue that is bringing together the youth to start Volcano Tech Hub. The educational challenges that we faced while in school are doubly faced by those after us instead of improving the learning, it has worsened to the extent that notes from class 1990 are the same notes given to class 2020 reason to why there many failures in schools. Most schools have no libraries and those having a small on no new and useful books that can help students to develop or to innovate, and they don’t promote new ideas. Coming to technology, this is a very crucial problem in our education. Teachers and students need a computer lab that will handle technology-based learning for different schools. It is noted that most of the schools have no computers, no libraries where students, teachers, and researchers can carry out their activities, no website, blog and WhatsApp and Facebook for example where schools can report and do their advertisement that’s why Volcano Tech Hub is taking the initiatives of putting all these services in place to assist all schools and the community. It is with an intense regret that students cross to Uganda, the neighbouring country, for some of the said services. We need to address all these challenges of poor infrastructure, poor education, and for Volcano to succeed, we need first to focus on educational technology issues. It is for this reason that we are introducing the application of technology to the DRC education system.
How will it work?
The application of technology in education in DRC will be done by first targeting teachers and students:
We are training teachers in basic computer courses, internet services, and online learning. Through this, the education system will be able to identify the technology-based education gap that Volcano is solving and how important it has technology in our education program. Teachers will be able to provide functional and quality education using technology. Volcano Tech Hub wants to expose students and teachers to the modern world where technology is taking the lead by presenting to them different opportunities, creative and innovative ideas, and promoting research and project conception. The computer lab will be serving as dual-use, which is to say students and teachers will do their practices during the day and then community when schools are not in session.

HOW WE ARE RAISING FUNDS
The starting is always hard, and this is what makes most of the people surrender from their project. The problem of funds is no limiting VOLCANO TECH HUB from progressing. At Volcano, we believe that for equality problem projects, organisation have started to operate from zero funding. After the funder realising that it is hard to work without funds, we thought of possible ways the organisation can stand on its own. We get funds through individual contributions, fundraising from friends, by designing a website for different clients and offering some basic computer course. So far, no donations received, but we are ready to stand and change our country’s education using the possible resources. The team management is working hard to see everything is in place on time, and we currently have over $5100 for the project excluded human resources. Our main target is US$ 8000 for the piloting. The full-year budget requires the organisation to have $25000 all included. Here are different services and activities for the organisation:

Basic computer courses
Software management and application
Programming
Online learning courses
Internet services
Technology entrepreneurship
Technology-related skills. E.g., maintenance and repair.

VOLCANO TECH HUB FUTURE PROJECTION
The organisation plan is no only limited in education, we are looking at the other system like Health, Business, and government. We dream of having Volcano international schools of Technology (VIST), where all youth passionate about technology will be coming together for research and study how to build ventures that contribute the country development. With Volcano, we see new industries in the country by 2040 because our idea is to launch schools that train youth practically, which are technological manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. The country is lacking all this by depending mostly on importing, single products like salt and sugar, yet our country has more sugar cane.
You can read more at www.volcanotechhub.com

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