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UNESCO trains teachers in science education for the dissemination of solar technology in Cameroon

UNESCO continues on its initiative to train teachers in science education for the dissemination of solar technology in Cameroon. Teaching methods of installing photovoltaic solar panels will be included in the school curriculum in the upcoming years in Cameroon, said Ms. Eveline Mpoudi Ngolle, Inspector General, Ministry of Secondary Education, during the opening ceremony of the workshop designed to train teachers on the initiation, designing, assembly and installation of photovoltaic panels. This workshop took place at the “Centre d’Excellence de Microsciences (CEM)”, on 11-13 March 2014, in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The workshop, organized by the UNESCO Office for Central Africa and the Science Education unit of the Natural Sciences Sector, was organized within the framework of strengthening human and institutional capacities in science education. It aims to build capacity in practical experimentation in science and technology, and particularly to enable teachers and trainers to conduct their own experiments in sizing, assembling and installing solar panels. This type of project will bring technological opportunities and solutions to rural areas where the lack of electrical power systems is a major factor in under-enrolment in education.

Around twenty regional and national inspectors and some university teachers of the Ecole normale supérieure and the Ecole nationale supérieure Polytechnique benefited from this three-day training workshop, where they learned about design and installation of solar technology. After a day of lectures, participants conducted a case study through which they assessed the needs of an institution or a community.  This included determining the appropriate size of installation and developing a summary diagram based on specific needs and readings from measuring devices used in maintaining on-site installations. This practical part concluded with the installation of two solar photovoltaic panels assembled by trainers on the site of CEM.

At the end of this training workshop, the results indicated that practical experience of installing solar technology should be introduced in the form of TP in the terminal classes C, D and technological fields.

UNESCO, in the framework of its support for the Government of Cameroon, plans to conduct a pilot rural workshop in teaching innovation through mobile phones. This initiative is timely, as it will help make available a reliable power source for mobiles, as well as reinforce and ensure project sustainability for teaching new technologies through mobile phones.

This workshop, organized in collaboration with the Centre d’Excellence de Microsciences, was highly anticipated by the national. The project was considered a success by the national educational authorities, specifically by the Ministries of Secondary Education and Basic Education. It was recommended from this workshop, that UNESCO continues this rewarding initiative on the country.