As promised, here’s another update of what’s been happening in Bijawar since April.

One of the teachers at the Bijawar Boys’ HS School called us from Sagar (about two hours from Bijawar), saying that he was at a store, looking to buy some new equipment – chairs, tables, and assorted computer hardware – for the school’s computer lab. He asked us a few questions about what kind of switch was needed to connect all of the computers to the Internet, as well as how many ethernet cables he should buy (and of what length). We were happily surprised by the school’s enthusiasm for pushing forward on the project!

It seems that the school has received money to spend on computer equipment. We also learned that the internet hadn’t been working for a couple of months, which frustrated the principal immensely, because he had to spend an extra Rs. 1000 each month to send his administrative assistants to Chhatarpur to file the payroll. We spoke with the person who initially installed the broadband line at the school, and he went to the school to fix whatever was wrong. As far as I could tell, there had been some problem with the billing, and the server in Indore had apparently been down for a few days, contributing to the problem. We had also asked him to bring a speakerphone, which he did. The school is still working on getting the 16-port switch up and running.

All systems seem to be go to start a pilot project in July. Our current plan is to spend the first two weeks of July training the teacher we’ve identified, then begin teaching students. We hope the project will go for about three months, after which we will evaluate the success of the project and determine how to move forward. We’re trying to get volunteers to sign up for one-week slots to help out in Bijawar during this time. We’re still working on a rough curriculum, which will be posted once its finished, as will more details about the project itself.

We’ve been trying to get in contact with someone at the Girls’ HS School to see whether they received computers, but we’ve had no luck so far.