By Fola - My Story and Journey on ICT with Pamela McLean.

 

Photo: Fola's self-funded mini ICT centre at Ago-Are

This post was sent to me by Folabi Sunday for sharing:

My quest to the world of ICT knew no bound and it was borne out of passion since when i was a young boy with mum selling dead newspaper. While reading through these unsold magazines i found out that a life without information is shapeless and helpless.

I discovered there avalanche of opportunities on internet. I got most of my problems solved reading those old unsold newspapers and that was 2003 and it continued till 2003 when i got my first email opened on yahoo mail.

I never gave (up) i spent countless hours surfing the internet in a cafe searching for knowledge and skills that can be helpful for my life and career, I had  to pay through my nose to get access into a cafe then in 2003 I was helping many people around solving their internet problems by helping  them opening an email account in the cafe and they were happy,

I solved most  assignment while on campus using google search and most of my colleague looked up to me anytime there is a challenge on computer and getting information online, I helped many people attached their documents online and I was happy spending my money doing these selfless services without being paid a dime.

I got my employment under the Oyo state Universal Basic Education Board {SUBEB} in 2005 and I was posted to ATISBO {is an acronym of all the towns and villages that made up the local government}.

Then i had grew versed on internet and i have mastered the usage of computers but my quest for knowledge keep building.

I was posted to a place where there was no telecommunication company and getting on the internet was almost impossible  though we later after a year had a network or thereabout but I later got to know that there is a place called Information Centre in Ago Are and I was moved  i searched for the place and i went there to see how I could get myself connected to the internet in 2007.

It was at the information centre I met Pastor David who manage the place with some other locals, my constant visit to the place to surf the internet brought me closer to PD as he is fondly called.

My views about internet and information changed when teachers in the local government were invited to the centre to be addressed by an English woman. I attended the meeting and the woman Pamela McLean spoke to us about helping each other, collaborating to solve community problems and learning from each others.

We exchange emails and she went back to UK and my quest for ICT grew more deeper after I heard her speak to us I was not satisfied with the poor Internet access and erratic power supply then I went to obtain a loan and use it to purchase a  Sony Ericsson phone P990i in 2007 and with it i browse the internet and keep abreast of information.

Pamela was so impressed by my action that I obtain a loan to get information on how to teach the pupils in the village.

Pamela before her departure invited us to join an online community where people come together to help each other I joined the group and i was active in the group asking questions and i got my questions answered. I remember Ricardo the guy that always answer my question on how to connect my phone with system. I was happy I met Pamela.

In 2008, I was invited for a training to FF {Fantsuam Foundation} to get training on Solar panel by Marcus, building of houses using local materials and how to create a blog by Glenn, and uploading of files online and how to use a camera, I spent five days or so i could not remember. There i met people of same passion as I am. Yakubu, Kelechi, and John Dada.

It was at FF I got to know about the founder of the information centre in Ago Are and he was gruesomely murdered. and then the information centre was running short of man power and and most of the materials in the place were getting outdated and faulty, information was getting to oblivion, Pastor David tried all he could to resuscitate the centre but it was futile no one to help in the locality though Pamela tried all she could but communal crises prevented the centre from rising again.

I had to set up a mini cafe in my room where I do chat with Pamela and Ricardo anytime I needed to be assisted.

My view about Internet changed, I knew it is good helping others around in the community with my acquired knowledge, I learnt a lot from the workshop and this has helped in shaping my life and my view about life generally.

I got home I was looking for a way i could repeat what I met in FF it was a big task to be accomplished Pamela came in and with collaboration with FF an amount of money was sent down in form of loan and I use the money to set a minor information centre in in the Ago Are where i train the students on how to use computer and design using coreldraw and later I had to include how to create a blog and snap pictures and I was able to train many students in the mini information centre i set up.

I continued in this up till last year when I went on course and on returning most of my gadgets were damaged by the students i left around, it was painful and it was a helpless situation for me.

I also had an accident while on my bike while going for lecture which made me to spend much time at the hospital.

It has indeed being a wonderful experience meeting Pamela and John Dada.

Internet is now better in Ago Are we now access the internet using a modem and a router with the help of 3G network that just arrived the community.

Good News

  • We now have four mobile networks in the community and two are already on 3G network
  • we now have a Radio station in the local government
  • there is awareness on computer and internet in the locality
  • other people are having their computers and laptop at home and offices
  • we can order goods and services online using paypal from Nigeria.
  • Pamela has been wonderful providing help and assistance when needed, connection with people who could assist with their acquired skills online in group and chat rooms
  • set up a blog teachingintherurals.blogspot.com

 

Plans

  • Planning to renew the mini information centre so i can train more other students and pupils in the community
  • planning to start a radio programme where computer can be taught in local language
  • planning to move from one school to another helping people in need and enlightening them about internet and phone usage
  • organising seminars on internet and information communication technology in the community and they can use the internet positively
  • planning to connect my students with the online community where they can ask question and get their questions answered by experts.
  • teaching the student how to stream videos and chat with online community
  • teaching students how to create a blog and website using blogger and wordpress

 

Challenges

Challenges abound and I cannot but shared them

  • Erratic power supply is a challenge
  • financing this information centre could be overwhelming though I am planning on obtaining a loan to set this up and the student will be paying token that will keep us running the place

End of Fola's email

Posts from Fola's blog about teaching in rural Nigeria, about learning and about ICT locally.

And some family ones: