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Improving Conditions for Education
Why should education be improved for the billions of impoverished students worldwide? Because progress for these impoverished students is dependent upon their education, which must improve in order for them to be successful. Poverty is a disadvantage, affecting students differently, dependent upon their situation.
- Poverty reduces the chance of young people to study at home. Cramped interior space used by many people along with insufficient interior lighting are negative factors to be overcome. Students in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, dramatically illustrate these conditions: even when it is raining, students gather under streetlights to study, protecting their books with plastic.
- To study, illumination should be of good quality. Some housing conditions in impoverished communities normally do not offer good quality illumination. Illumination from overhead florescent tubes is too weak, light from gas-lamps may be strong enough, but radiates heat, creates sharp shadows, and attracts insects. The commonly used torches (U.S. "flashlights") could be somewhat effective, if the cost for the short lasting batteries would not be prohibitive.
Illumination for reading and writing may be the most important factor to consider. What each student needs is an available source of light that's easy to move around and doesn't attract insects. A mobile reading light gives students a chance to make the best use of their space. Additionally, a reading light should be almost free of cost, yet be very effective and practical. Billions of students around the world are in immediate need of such a reading light. In order for students to have access to such reading lights, a way of providing the lights in big quantities has to be designed. Therefore it should be easy to make it with the help of a construction manual relying only on local resources. The design of the reading light has to fulfill the above-mentioned functional conditions, a method that can be locally reproduced, and integrated in a campaign to spread the news among youngsters that are concerned.
How does it work
Technical Specifications and Suggestions for Circuits/Parts
The target for the electronic circuit should be inexpensive, robust and long lasting (>5 years). Charging during daytime (not in direct sunlight), which should deliver a capacity for 4 hours use at night.
Peer-to-peer projects between students in rich and poor countries can arouse interest and stimulate the construction and use of the NightReader. Why is studying during the evening at home normal in developed countries and next to impossible in poor countries? There is no need to accept this, rich schools may take the initiative to change this inequality. A method that schools in developed nations may adopt is creating a NightReader peer-to-peer project. A school and its students in a rich country adopt a school and its students in a poor country. Students in rich countries have enough experience on Internet to find and contact a school in a (poor) country. Then the students find out what is the real situation: is there a need for the NightReader? Does the other school have interest in such a project? If yes, what precisely are the local conditions? So the rich school students get to know what the reality is for their peers in that far away country. Together with their teachers they make a plan. It is impractical to make all the NightReaders and send them, it is better to provide teaching material for the other school.
Light up the World Foundation: http://www.lutw.org
Their DIY Solar technique allows the construction of low cost pv panels to power radios, torches, etc. It can be used both by NGOs and those starting a small business. This is an example how it could work with the NightReader. http://www.biodesign.org.uk/ http://www.oneworld.org/wacc/publications/action_archive/action235/so... http://www.biodesign.org.uk/page.php?domain_name=biodesign.org.uk&vie... www.noarfoundation.org/solar.cfm
How they work, how to manage colours, why some LED-colors are cheap and others expensive. Many links to other sources of info on application of LED's. http://www.idfuel.com/index.php?p=178&more=1#more178
Home-based workers: neglected by policy-makers and labour organisers? Home workers are a flexible and cheap labour force and almost 80 percent are female. They are 'invisible' in the regular labour market and their interests and priorities are not at the forefront of political or labour organisations. http://www.id21.org/society/s7crp1g1.html