WPU Course "Ghana" at the Carlo-Mierendorff-School (CMS)

Now is the time! The first WPU (elective course) "Ghana" at the Carlo-Mierendorff-Schule (CMS) is established. 13 students (SuS) chose this course to - as almost all of them emphasized - "help people" and as one student said "put a smile on the faces of the people in Ghana". Wow - if that's not motivation to take this course! Since the school year 2022/23, students of the Carlo-Mierendorff-Schule, as well as other comprehensive schools, grammar schools and secondary schools in Frankfurt can attend the new "Gymnasiale Oberstufe" in Frankfurt / Preungesheim in the newly founded upper school. There, the students are offered elective subjects, i.e. the possibility and obligation to participate in determining the timetable for 2 hours. This part of the class is called "Wahlpflichtunterricht" (WPU for short), which means elective subject. From the word it can be deduced that the SUS can choose, but they have to. At this point we would like to thank the school management of the Carlo-Mierendorff-Schule and the dedicated teachers Petra Knott, Carlo Franz and Dörte Netzer for not only initiating this WPU course "Ghana" but also equipping it in such a way that 2 specialists can accompany this course. We are very aware of how difficult this must have been during and after the Corona pandemic and in parallel with the development of a senior high school. Thank you very much for your commitment and the continuing opportunities this course offers. In the WPU course "Ghana", 13 students and 2 teachers will work together with experts from HITA e.V. to prepare laptops and desktop computers so that they can be used for many years to come in computer labs at our Ghanaian partner school, the Mawuko Senior Girls' High School (Mawuko). On October 10, Thomas Erkert from HITA e.V. presented the project during 2 school hours together with the responsible persons Mrs. Dörte Netzer and Boris Riege. It was not only important for Thomas Erkert to convey a feeling for Ghana, for the partner school and the necessity for sustainable development, but above all to learn more about the motivation of the students already mentioned at the beginning. What specifically will be done in this WPU course? That was one of the questions the SUS discussed with Thomas Erkert. The answers showed that this course is not just a purely IT-related course, but that sustainable help includes many different facets.

The newly created upper school of the Carlo Mierendorff School in Frankfurt

It became clear to all that it is not enough to "only" prepare some computers technically, but that this project is much more about preparing 80-100 laptops and PCs in terms of hardware and software so that they can be easily integrated into 2 computer labs of the partner school "Mawuko" in Ghana. In order to achieve this goal, in addition to the actual procurement of these computers, a goal-oriented planning of the entire action is required. Together with the students, we will check and classify each donated computer, properly erase the storage media in accordance with regulations, and upgrade and, if necessary, update the hardware and software so that the computers can be installed pre-configured in a network on site in Ghana. In addition to these more technical issues, we will look at sustainable logistics, learning how to pack the technical equipment safely without producing endless waste. Last but not least, we will work on organizational issues and jointly develop a binding project plan that both guarantees "on-time" delivery at the end of the school year in June 2024 and ensures long-term and thus sustainable use of these networks on site. This includes, among other things, a well-organized inventory, the establishment of inspection and maintenance intervals and the development of a suitable spare parts supply. The topics are diverse and cannot be covered comprehensively in one WPU course. That is why we are particularly pleased that the cooperation of the 3 partners, namely CMS, Mawuko and HITA e.V. is long-term.

Group work: how should we proceed together to be able to equip 2 computer labs for our partner school by the end of the school year in June 2024?

Together with Dörte Netzer and Boris Riege of CMS, we from HITA e.V. will design this first WPU course "Ghana" and provide advice and support. From our side we are glad that we could win a long-time member of the association in Shaun Beason, who will supervise this project as a computer expert and technical project manager on the part of HITA e.V.. What's next? By the end of October, we will have worked out a concrete concept together with the CMS managers to ensure that we can actually achieve the goals we have set. For this purpose, various working meetings will be held, virtually via video conference and on-site at the school. In parallel, we will create the conditions for the students to work practically at the beginning of November. For this we still need e.g. tools, more PCs, laptops and other technical equipment. So dear readers, if you still have computers that you have replaced in recent years and have not yet disposed of, please donate them to this great project at the Carlo Mierendorff School in Frankfurt/Preungesheim. Please contact HITA e.V. at spenden@hita-org.com. If you know people or companies that replace their computers on a regular basis, please contact them and draw their attention to this project.

Those responsible for the course Dörte Netzer and Boris Riege (CMS) together with Thomas Erkert (HITA e.V.)