Skip to main content

Using satellites and solar power, education portal brings teachers to refugee camps

solar power refugee program img 5772
Image used with permission by copyright holder
As much as we enjoy geeking out over giant mech robot battles and stories about 3D printing in space, one of the most amazing — and amazingly easy to take for granted — aspects of modern technology is the ability to convey information anywhere in the world. That’s something that a new project aimed at teaching kids in the Ampain refugee camp in Western Ghana is taking full advantage of with an education portal.

The organizers are using smart tech — including satellites, solar-powered computer hardware, and an interactive live feed — to deliver two-way lessons to people who otherwise would miss out. According to its organizers at the Varkey Foundation, this is the world’s first satellite-enabled live two-way interactive distance-learning program for children living in refugee camps.

“The Ampain primary school has been fitted with a satellite dish, which, through solar-powered technology, receives a live link to highly qualified teachers in a studio in Accra, who broadcast lessons direct to the refugee camp,” Leonora Dowley, country director for Ghana at the Varkey Foundation, told Digital Trends. “Each classroom has a projector so all the children can see the teacher giving the lessons, and each classroom has also been provided with a computer so that children can interact with the teacher in a direct, live, two-way link. This is much more effective than simply providing children with textbooks, as nothing can beat access to a great teacher.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The interactive classes have been running since April, with the express aim of helping kids who are currently out of school, or at risk of dropping out of education altogether. The hope is that the project will enable these students to catch up with their basic classes, continue on with secondary education, and learn the language of their host country.

In addition to offering literacy and numeracy lessons, the program also offers after-school sessions aimed at teaching subjects like reproductive health, human rights awareness, financial literacy, and leadership.

“We believe this is a highly replicable solution that could be deployed in other settings,” said Dowley. “Given the extent of the refugee crisis, it will be exciting to see how things could develop on this front in future.”

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Meet the game-changing pitching robot that can perfectly mimic any human throw
baseball hitter swings and misses

Who’s your favorite baseball pitcher? Shane McClanahan? Sandy Alcantara? Justin Verlander? Whoever you said, two of the top sports-tech companies in the U.S. -- Rapsodo and Trajekt Sports -- have teamed up to build a robot version of them, and the results are reportedly uncannily accurate.

Okay, so we’re not talking about walking-talking-pitching standalone robots, as great a sci-fi-tinged MLB ad as that would be. However, Rapsodo and Trajekt have combined their considerable powers to throw a slew of different technologies at the problem of building a machine that's able to accurately simulate the pitching style of whichever player you want to practice batting against -- and they may just have pulled it off, too.

Read more
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more
CES 2023: HD Hyundai’s Avikus is an A.I. for autonomous boat and marine navigation
Demonstration of NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for the better part of a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear about is the type used to control steering in road-based vehicles. That's not the only place where technology can make a huge difference. Autonomous driving systems can offer incredible benefits to boats and marine vehicles, too, which is precisely why HD Hyundai has unveiled its Avikus AI technology -- for marine and watercraft vehicles.

More recently, HD Hyundai participated in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, to demo its NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name mashes together the words "neuron" and "boat" and is quite fitting since the Avikus' A.I. navigation tech is a core component of the solution, it will handle self-recognition, real-time decisions, and controls when on the water. Of course, there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation solution, which we'll dive into below -- HD Hyundai will also be introducing more about the tech at CES 2023.

Read more