School attendance rates increase with access to electricity. Similarly, the human development index increases at the same time as access to electricity. – According to a UNDP study.
Access to quality education in decent conditions remains a major current challenge for pupils, their families and teachers; because of its leverage effects it lifts communities as a whole.
Access to electricity and water in the service of education responds to clearly expressed needs and to which there are solutions that are simple to set up:
Children, especially those who come back every evening from high school or college, find a place to study in good conditions in an illuminated classroom. In the event of bad weather, and when the classroom has shutters, artificial light means that windows can be closed to keep out the cold or sandstorms.
Thanks to classroom lighting, the teacher is able to give evening classes to pupils who need them and prepare lessons for the next few days.
Most rural schools do not have access to running water. Often students carry their gourd on the way to school, sometimes ten kilometres away. The installation of water in school buildings gives them access to clean water and helps them adopt healthy behaviour, such as hand washing.
The creation of a computer room allows young people to use computers, to learn about information and communications technology and to benefit from innovative educational content.
In 2014, 781 million adults and 126 million children in the world were illiterate. Over 60% of them were women (according to the Millennium Development Goals Report, United Nations, 2014). An illuminated classroom can accommodate evening courses in reading and writing for adults.
Some of our projects include electrification of a vocational training centre. The electricity is used for lighting classrooms but also in the use of educational tools needed for training. Volunteer teams often lead the work with a team of apprentices, combining theory and practice.
We are still studying the possibility of adding the director’s and the teachers’ housing to the electrification of the school to provide them with better living conditions and reduce the turnover of teachers in remote rural areas.
In these areas the school is also a place for meetings and social life in which village councils can gather or film screenings can be organized when the community has a video projector.