Mobile ICT Learning Facilities

Pattern number within this pattern set: 
Grant Hearn
University of the Western Cape

In many countries, the lack of access to technology and Information and Communication Technology in particular, is an acute problem. This problem is one of both resource and location, and if this problem is to be solved solutions must focus on making scarce resources cover as much ground as possible.


Placing fixed computer facilities in communities with government or donor funding, limits the benefits to the particular communities in question.


In the sphere of basic literacy, one of the solutions that has been around for a long time is the 'mobile library', whereby suitable motor vehicles carry libraries on wheels to those unable to access them otherwise. This makes good use of financial resources, and allows a scarce and important asset to be brought to where it is most needed, and reused continually.

The provision of similar travelling computer laboratories, the drivers of which are trained computer literacy educators, could play a similar role in bringing the ICT mountain to the disempowered. Such a self-contained unit with its own power generation ability will allow many people access to ICT whether they are remotely located, or simply living in communities which are too poor to allow such access otherwise. Encouraging community participation in the program will help to ensure that those in the community who could most benefit by the program will be helped first. The goals of such a program would be to:

Bring scarce and economically empowering assets to communities desperately in need of them, or otherwise simply lacking in access to those assets by virtue of their remote location, or similar.

To make a contribution to the reduction of the geographical and economic isolation of many communities.

To begin to bring the wider world to communities who wish to gain knowledge of it and interact with it.

To contribute to the knowledge and skills of those joining the exodus from rural to urban areas, in an attempt to provide survival strategies that move away from begging, menial labour and crime.

In South Africa a similar initiative which focuses it's attention on bringing science and technology to disadvantaged communities is already in place. A bus called the 'Discovery Mobile' travels to communities, and gives young people the opportunity to interact with a wide range of exhibits inside the bus - see images.


By working together with government, donors and communities, mobile computer laboratory facilities can be established which would begin to answer the needs of many communites for exposure to and training in the use of Information and Communication technologies.

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