Camara places educational institutions at the center of its model as both partners and customers. Camara distributes refurbished computers to approved educational institutions as an eLearning package. Camara collects computers to recycle as eWaste. Costs are covered through recycling revenues, sale of computers, services to the Hub, and fundraising. Thus, Camara in Kenya operates as a sustainable social enterprise model.
Educational institutions across Kenya apply to Camara or are contacted by Camara Marketing and Sales teams. A robust vetting system is used before signing a contract with a school. Camara is designed to benefit the whole school community and thus items are sold in packages to avoid individual gain. Furthermore, a vetting team will visit the school before delivering computers to ensure the school has adequate conditions to look after the equipment and maintain good condition. The educational institution must designate a room for the e-learning center and prepare it to Camara’s standards in safety and security. The criteria are: Electrical Safety, Ventilation, Furniture, and Fittings. Upon delivery, Camara keeps close contact with all schools with regular visits (which fall under maintenance and training) and ensure the computers are being used and cared for to a good standard.
The Camara eLearning package has 6 key pillars:
Computer packages are sold to schools at heavily subsidized prices. All computers supplied by Camara are branded and contain a Pentium Four processor. Each lab will receive a high specification ‘Server PC’ containing a minimum hard drive size of 100GB and at least 1GB of RAM. This machine will hold a repository of shared educational content and software, which will be shared with all the other computers when the lab is networked.
2. Educational Content
All Camara computers come with their own versions of Ubuntu, called Camarabuntu, and includes educational tools, content, and games. This includes Maths, English, Science, and Geography learning tools, an offline version of Wikipedia, and typing, keyboard, and mouse training software. The Server PC also contains thousands of e-books, video lectures (Khan Academy), reference materials and videos, and the installation files for thousands of pieces of software for the other computers.
All Camara packages come with a maintenance contract (including replacements of any non-working computers) for six months. A team of 40 volunteers (mainly school leavers) are trained by Camera in technology, maintenance, networking, and soft skills to provide over the phone and on-site support (either in the educational institution or at Camara facilities). Wherever possible, the volunteers train teachers or technicians at the school to create ownership at the school level.
4. Teacher Training
A minimum of five teachers must be trained in Camara’s Basic ICT Literacy Course. A minimum of two teachers must be trained in one of the more advanced training courses: either Hardware and Maintenance or the Intel Teach program. These courses are included as standard in all Camara packages and are a mandatory requirement to purchasing computers.
5. Monitoring and Evaluation
All Camara partnered educational institutions are visited at least every six months in order to gather feedback. This is to improve services and products, as well as to provide more personalized and needs-based support to the educational institution.
6. Recycling and replacement service at the end of the computer’s life
Camara use MIS to track all equipment, and, at the end of a computer's life, Camara takes back all equipment from schools and ensures that they are recycled in line with international standards and regulations on environmental protection.
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CEI approaches in actionSchool supportTeacher trainingSchool leader trainingSchool operations or managementTeaching materials (teaching guides, lesson plans, etc.)Infrastructure and equipmentEducational Technology
Model details2006Not-for-profitInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)ActiveLong-term projectOther100,000 KES for 10 computers with Flatscreens, software, training, maintenance and E-Waste. 280,000 for 30 computers (same additional services as 10 PC package). Fixed price (10,000 per PC/Flatscreen) on a sliding scale depending upon number of computers
Computer hardware, educational software, maintenance, teacher training, disposal of equipment at end of lifetime.
Camara operates in low and middle income areas. Through community engagement and school visits, Camara targets schools from the second quintile that may have infrastructure and funding to buy computers but cannot afford market-rate prices. Camara's subsidized rate, software, maintenance, and training offerings makes technology accessible to these marginalized communities.
Scale1,200Over 100 teachers trained every month with 1200 trained in total in 2013.3One main hub in Mombasa, with Sub-Hubs in Lamu and Bungoma
- 5000 computers have been distributed across Kenya to date
- Camara have worked with more than 350 schools across Kenya to date
- Camara employs 5 full-time trainers. In addition 40 volunteers per 3 month cycle conduct training and maintenance tasks at schools.
Camara seek to expand to new markets/areas and to increase its footprint in Kenya. A recent 3 year strategic plan targets 10,000 computers to be delivered to schools across the country. It is planned that Camara will expand to have a hub in every province in Kenya. This will start with a Nairobi Sub-Hub in the coming year. The training model is continuously evolving and Camara will introduce a Leadership Training Course specifically for Head Teachers in 2015.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Regular school visits monitor the maintenance and usage of computers. Additionally, questionnaires are distributed to teachers and pupils annually when M&E exercises are conducted to monitor usage, maintenance, and overall satisfaction. All results are published in the Camara annual report.Internal assessment performanceUser satisfactionOtherBreakage rates, digital literacy attainmentYes