Stories from the connected: Lifelong learning at the ICT lab

At Zee Tech Foundation's ICT lab, young students learn how to use the internet, creating improved economic, educational and social opportunities.

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Theresa Haans
2 May 2024 Clock 2 min

By setting up a ICT lab and offering free access to young students, Zee Tech Foundation inspires the coming generations to use the internet and learn through digital tools. It not only facilitates access to large amounts of online resources, it also creates improved economic, educational and social opportunities. 

In this blog, we share the experiences of students at the ICT lab, and we take a closer look at Zee Tech Foundations’ dedicated work to get this lab up and running, and the impact it has.

The ICT lab

In 2023, Zee Tech Foundation established their first digital literacy lab in Bauchi State, north-east in Nigeria. The lab consists of various rooms. One is filled with desks and computers with Microsoft office software downloaded onto them. The other one is filled with chairs and a projector. 

Quote The ICT/STEM lab has been a fantastic resource for me to learn more about technology and how it impacts our daily lives. – Abe Janet

Students learn about the various possibilities the computer brings, from using a keyboard, and are introduced to Microsoft Word to writing texts, searching the internet for information, and finding tools that help with their education. 

Amatullah is one of the students visiting the ICT lab: ‘I’ve learned how to type faster, create presentations, and even do some basic coding,’ – she shares. ‘The lab has been a great place for me to explore my interests in technology and learn new skills that I can use in the future.’

Integrating online safety

Zee Tech Foundation thinks long term. Building on past successes, they integrated lessons from their previous project about Online safety. During this project Zee Tech Foundation educated young people on how to stay safe online. The materials developed during the previous project have been used at the ICT lab. This way they are not only teaching the students to embrace technology, but also to do so responsibly.  

Internet access opens the door to education

We asked several students about the significance of internet access in their lives. Their responses underscore the importance they place on the educational opportunities afforded by the internet.

According to Abe Janet, internet access acts as a doorway to many learning opportunities. “It provides students like me with opportunities to learn, collaborate, and innovate,” she explains. “With internet access, we can access a wealth of educational resources, connect with experts in various fields, and participate in online communities to exchange ideas and experiences. It’s a vital tool for academic success and personal development.

Sharing the same idea, another student shared their personal experience: “I’ve used it to access online textbooks, watch instructional videos, participate in virtual workshops and even make a presentation during the national girls in ICT challenge.

Overcoming challenges at the ICT lab

Setting up and running an ICT lab does not come without challenges. Zubairu, the local project lead, recalls how power outages and unstable electricity supply disrupted the learning sessions every once in a while. Although this can be disruptive to the workflow, it didn’t bother the lab’s visitors too much. 

Sweet Irene, unbothered by the occasional disruption, recounts her seamless experience: “The laptop I used in the lab worked perfectly fine during our visit. There was light, and the internet was fast. It made watching educational videos a breeze. I’m grateful for the smooth experience and the opportunities it has provided for my learning journey.