In West Africa, Ghana has its first solar-powered internet school (SPIS) using panels made of rubber created by a collaboration of Samsung Electronics West Africa, the Korean Education and Research Information Service and government of Ghana.

The SPIS is a 40-foot shipping container that Samsung equips with 24 Samsung Laptops plus one for the teacher, a multi-purpose Samsung printer, a 50-inch electronic board, a server, internet access and the solar panels. All these devices are optimised for use in a solar-powered environment.

The schools are built for use in remote rural areas with little or no grid electricity infrastructure and are easily transportable via trucks.

Custom-made solar panels

The fold-away solar panels, which provide enough energy to power the classroom’s equipment for up to nine hours a day, are made from rubber instead of glass to ensure they are robust and durable enough to survive long journeys across the country.

The e-board allows for cross-group collaboration between and among educators and learners across geographical boundaries. It can run video conferencing, access the internet, and connect to the computers in the container, all simultaneously, providing an interactive learning and teaching experience for both the educators and learners.

With a vision to reach over 2.5 million students in Africa by 2015, Samsung’s initiative focuses on the deployment of ICT infrastructure, professional development of educators, content development and management, school administration and management as well as sharing best practices in the integration of ICTs in enhancing learning and teaching in the classroom.