Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

Cameroon Blog

CAT Cameroon trains teachers in ICT’S

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Some 9 teachers from some secondary schools in Nkum sub division of Bui division in the North West region of Cameroon are undergoing a computer soft and hard ware course   as well as a pedagogy mentoring during this summer holidays organized by the center for appropriate technology in Bamenda Cameroon. The course which started on 14th May 2011 is aimed at expanding the learning of ICT’s in some rural communities in Cameroon through the class room. 

According to the Director of CAT Cameroon Njini Victor, computer learning and knowledge is alien to most schools and colleges in Cameroon and the need to link up these kids to the outside world    and their kind in the cities is necessary.    These 9teachers from the Nkum Sub division have been selected to lead the pilot phase of this project which according to CAT will run up to 2025. After the training the ear marked schools and colleges will be supplied refurbished computers to institute the actual learning and teaching of the course to the pupils and students.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 7:06 AM, ,

Royal University Centre, Cameroon

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Inauguration speech at Royal University Centre, Bamenda, Cameroon (RUC), on Feb 21, 2011

Internationally the number of universities is growing. Some time from now we will have as many advanced schools as fast food restaurants, shopping centers and medical facilities.

The variety of services offered is continuously expanding. Gas stations turn into grocery stores, restaurants sell bycycles and automobile dealers attend to the travelers needs. Creating demand is the name of the game. Modern advertising is meant to sell what is not needed.

Why would universities be any different?

The cost of classical education is constantly rising. If an Institute wants to raise public attention it will have to invest. To raise sufficient funds the institute will have to start thinking economically and create sections that generate an income.

Local tradition combined with specific capabilities and experience could serve as a solid base for a unique selling point.

Concentration is an important factor. Instead of adding to variety you add to the focus. You meet modern economy's demand by supplying the market with an increasing amount of sufficiently trained students. Solid high quality education may sell better than a constantly growing variety of exotic courses. You learn that while you stick to the roots. RUC should head that way.

People trained here are going to be certificated as being part of the RUC project. RUC graduates have unsurpassed competency. As a unique selling point, they have been trained for the local environment, it's language and it's traditions.

RUC focuses on traditional medicine linked to appropriate technology. RUC focuses on projects linking theoretical perceptions with practical concerns.

Universities that are unable to offer certain services need to cooperate with other institutes. This way limited funds can efficiently be utilized without jeopardizing the quality of genuine specialization.

Regional cooperation is of greatest importance!


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:29 AM, ,

Speech on the eve of BUST honorary award

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February 18th, 2011

Your excellence, dear colleagues, dear parents and dear students!

I feel honored being invited here today. Some 20 years ago I came here as a tourist, and as BUST was opened in 1995 I had the opportunity to speak to you for the first time.

Since 2001 I am voluntarily working together with CAT (Centre for Appropriate Technology). So I may be familiar to some of you.

Today, you, the parents and the students are celebrating a quite remarkable occasion:
The parents are harvesting the fruits of their financial givings, and the students profit from a profound education.

A latin saying is: "We do not learn for our school, we learn for our life!" Non scholae sed vitae discimus.

Today we live in a world of "lifelong learning" - which some of our ancestors were familiar with decades ago.

All people should have the opportunity to cultivate their personal abilities.

All people are equal.

Men and women are equal,- means the western thinking.

Looking at our planet from a distance, this may be true today.

But looking at the way most of us design our lives today reveals some adverse aspects. It seems the demand for focusing on elementary ecological and sociological concerns still remains a challenge.

What exactly does that mean?

My dear students, you have worked hard, but life has not quite begun. You will have to face the fact that learning must continue. Your future calls for linking your earned skills with the demands of our modern society. You will have to take the challenge to survive in an environment focusing on industrial and monetary aspects, turning motivated individuals into exchangeable merchandise. Developing and preserving values based on theoretical knowledge with little practical experience will require strong personal ethics. Your initial effort will not pay well, nevertheless you should keep building practical experience in projects, even if that may mean working voluntarily.

I wish you all the best for your personal future.

Your excellence, dear colleagues, dear parents and dear students!

Many thanks.

More images from the event


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:24 AM, ,

Cameroon - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:30 PM, ,

CAT, SES, DGFK Setting The Pace For African Energy

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In a bid to promote African Energy through the use of solar energy, the Centre for Appropriate Technology, CAT – Cameroon in partnership with Senior Expect Service (SES) Boon-Germany and Society for the Advancement of Culture (DGFK) Berlin Germany have for the past days organizing “open day” and public exhibitions on some appropriate technologies as solutions to Climate Change and adaptation.

A series of solar training workshops for students in Cameroon and the North West Region in particular by CAT Cameroon and its partners is training students on photovoltaic system which is a solar energy system that provides electricity directly from sunlight. It produces clean, reliable energy without consuming fossil fuel and can be used in wide varieties of application like radio, lighting and even large scale electricity supplies.

Before promoting the use of solar energy, CAT Cameroon led by its Director Njini Victor, SES led by Dr. Norbert Pintsch, DGFK led by Lutz Fluegge and Mrs. Renale Perrier have been cress-crossing schools in the North West Region educating the students that conventional fuel sources have created a myriad of environmental hazards such as global warming, acid rain, smog, water pollution, rapid filling waste disposal sites, destruction of habitat from fuel spills and the loss of natural resources. It is against this back drop that CAT and its partners are out to educate the entire population that photovoltaic systems do not pose these environmental problems.

Today, many photovoltaic modules use silicon as their major component. The silicon cells manufactured from one tone of sand can produce as much electricity as burning 500.000 tons of coal. Today, photovoltaic modules supply electricity to more than one million homes and create hundreds of thousands of jobs world wide. One of such sensitization tours took place at Alah-Nkie at the Royal Development Cooperation Foundation. The free passive solar Active Technology training workshop brought students from ENS Bambili, students on Youth Forum Programme from CRTV Bamenda. In the presence of Prof Norbert Pintsch, Lutz Fluegge and Renale Perrier, CAT’s project coordinator Njini Victor drilled the students and villagers on the need for the use of solar energy and the various environmental problems caused by conventional fuel sources. In the long and short of it, it was a free passive solar active technology training workshop for the students and villagers characterized by interactive stage plays by Lutz and Renale as part of their ongoing campaign against environmental degradation and climate change and adaptation for children in Cameroon.

At Baptist Comprehensive College Nkwen, students and teachers were equally drilled on the need to diversify and choose solar energy because it serves health and money. Njini Victor outlined the disadvantages of relying on other sources of energy than solar energy. He and his team also sensitized the students and teachers on how medicinal friendly trees can be planted to prevent global warming. Before the workshop rounded up, students were called upon that the only way forward is to have an autonomous

house that produces its own electricity. The students were taken aback when they saw some demonstrations on the use of solar energy on household equipment. The principal of the school Bumenang Eugene appreciated CAT and its partners for choosing his institution as one of the beneficiaries of the workshop.

Over the years, CAT-Cameroon has been collaborating with schools like JMBC Ndu, BCHS Njinikejem Belo, SAC Kumbo, BHS Mankon and others, organizing free passive solar active technology training workshops for students. It has also been organizing open days or public exhibitions on some appropriate technologies as solutions to climate change and adaptation.

During such, some site attractions like cooking, baking, drying, boiling, lighting with solar energy have often taken pride of place. It should be noted that CAT Cameroon has been excelling in the field of appropriate technology with a ten year experience. They have also been working in partnership with Africa Energy in Arizona in the US.

Away from that, song, dance and fanfare characterized the arrival of Njini Victor, CAT Director, Prof Norbert, Lutz and Renate at the Alah – Nkie Royal Home for the laying of the Foundation stone for the construction of the Royal Rehabilitation Centre for the treatment of mentally handicapped persons, the abandoned and under-privileged children. The project according to Prof. Norbert is an example of appropriate technology, financing and implementation in a rural area based upon, traditional methods, local materials, autonomous functioning and flexible. The project is expected to engulf a walloping sum of FCFA 300 million.

The project designed by the Institute for Planning and Consultancy IPC in Germany, is expected to have a school, hospital, workshops, a Biogas plant, solar installations and rooms. According to Prof. Norbert, the project is one in Africa and its construction will depend on foreign donors, and the Government of Cameroon.

Appreciating the gesture, the Regional Delegate for Culture North west congratulated Prof. Norbert Pintsch for helping Ambassador Simon to realize the project which will go a long way to improve on lives. He congratulated Prof. Norbert, Lutz, Renate and Njini Victor for coming to lay the Foundation Stone. He equally lauded CAT Cameroon for the efforts to educate people on the need for solar energy. The Delegate called on Njini Victor not to relent his efforts because if solar energy is propagated as it has to be, and then there will be a solution to frequent power cuts.

The Royal Rehabilitation Centre for the care and treatment of mentally handicapped persons and the under - privileged and the people’s centre for development is a project of Ambassador Simon Tabufor Lesley who saw the effectiveness of his medicines for the treatment of mentally handicapped persons and to reduce the high number of mental patients in our streets.

The centre will also act as the reformation and training of already mentally handicapped persons.

This article also appeared at Light Within 

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:30 AM, ,

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