IT for High School Nakifuma: Background insights during the building process
Since plans were developed for building the new Secondary School in Nakifuma, the preparations for the required IT infrastructure were started, too. Even before construction work began, requirements for the ICT labs and offices had to be defined in order to consider them in the plans. Three ICT labs (for starters only 2 equipped with computers), a library and the server room should be located in the upper floor, connections for teachers in the staffroom on the first floor and the administration on ground floor.
Our electricians made sure that pipes and sockets for electric- and network cables were placed according to detailed plans, while we went ahead to think about the details of the required hardware. Through the great advice and support of Frank Woitag (Woitag Services GmbH & Co KG) we could discuss and plan the best solutions for our requirements in countless online meetings with him and a subcontractor of Woitag Services GmbH & Co KG, Alexander Wichmann from itloox.
While here in Uganda our carpentry started producing the computer tables and our IT-department started laying wires and doing other preparations on site, Frank Woitag handled purchase of equipment and supervised the preparation of a large part of the hardware in Germany. Shipping these goods to Uganda was yet another challenge but after intensely studying the import- and tax rules of Uganda we could finally receive the shipment end of January 2019.
At that point, an intense time started for our IT-Administration. Despite the amazing preparation already done in Germany, we still had to get used to the new equipment and do some customizations according to our requirements. In a test-setup with some few devices, we studied the advantages of the new Thin-Client systems, worked on customizations and also learnt about and dealt with a few challenges that often come with introducing new equipment. At the same time we set up PCs for the staffroom, the administration and library and prepared the server and network.
In the beginning of May we could finally conclude on this, disconnect everything and move to the school. There was still a lot of work ahead of us, connecting and wiring the devices and servers, testing the setup etc. The students, who are already studying at the school since February, followed our work with great anticipation.
Middle/end of May we could then introduce the staff to the new equipment, teach them on its use and finally hand things over to them. Since then, the ICT labs are frequently used for classes and both, teachers and students, are excited about the new possibilities!
I am very thankful for God’s guidance throughout all the various challenges of this big project! I can only marvel when I think of how He made contacts and ways where we couldn’t see them anymore! May these computers and the resulting possibilities be a great blessing to the students in their education!
Lukas Vana (IT-Administrator)