Itinere Cloud introduces itinereU campuses
New makerspaces featuring STEAM classrooms, and adult vocational style learning with industry leaders and tested curriculums.
NAIROBI – (BUSINESS DAILY AFRICA) – August 31st, 2019 – Since returning to school for the Fall semester, Nairobi students from different schools have experienced a fresh take on their education. For certain classes, they are transported by itinereU buses to an itienereU campus, a modern day maker space featuring classroom with all that is needed for them to learn a number of digital skills. The new makerspace campus in the middle of Nairobi is easily accessible, and provides learners of all walks of life and all ages a way for them to further their learning. For k-12 students it is place for both after school, and digital curriculum labs. For adult learners, it is a place to brush up on digital skills via evening classes, or perfect their craft, whether that is wood work, metal work, or automotive, etc…, they can utilize the state of the art machineries to complete a project, or they can learn from the many masters serving as teachers. For others yet, it is a place to complete their certification and exams. Here innovation is not just a word, it is the very air they breath, and everyone is constantly asked to push the boundaries, and challenge the norms.
“I feel like I can take on the world,” says Edwin Pokoo, sophomore. “I am loving this whole hands on learning, ideas become reality. During our last session, we built an application to solve our complex transportation system, how do you not love that?” Edwin visits itinereU with his classmates from GIS. “Easily my new favorite place to be after school.”
In the past, the gatekeeper of various information/skills/knowledge was the teachers themselves. To assist them, we had books for reference. But conventional thinking on education has changed all over the world, except in Africa. Here, schools just don’t have the means, nor the know how to evolve. While many acknowledge the necessity to change, the challenges have gone mostly unsolved. Classes remain mostly lectures, where students are though to pass their year-end exams and/or certifications in order to move on to the next class and do it all over again. After graduation, students are not ready to join the workforce because they did not receive enough real world practical learning.
With itinereU, schools and learners of all types now have access to a makerspace that provides them with a great deal of hands on activities and real help as they tackle real life challenges. Open 24/7, education institutions can book a STEAM lab to take advantage of any of the available fully stocked classrooms, where everything that is needed from Computers to pencils are provided for every attending student. Inclusive of curriculum and a world class teacher should the institution make the request. Neophytes can learn skills they can utilize in the real world therefore be ready for the workforce. And with so many programs, there is something for everyone.
“In the famous words of Pablo Picaso “I begin with an idea, then it becomes something else.” The exploration and discovery of new ideas is at the basis of itnereU, the idea is to help find ones passion, to try new things, to succeed or to fail, and to learn from both masters, just the same.” says Rama Zomaletho, founder and CEO Itinere Cloud. “Innovation gives permission to dreams, and itinereU help carry forward that message to all.”
“We visited itinereU Nairobi’s campus, several weeks after it’s grand opening. The first thing you notice is the impressive and massive gate riddled with graffiti, carefully designed to invite the curious mind to yield all preconceived notions. Above the gate the inscription “itinereU – Fiat Lux” lay in Salvatore Dalhi format, if only to confirm the message just received from the walls. Behind the gate 3 buildings, with a pyramid at the center. From the outside, none of the three buildings were impressive to look at, rather a simple 2 stories repeated design. My first impression, this architect must have become lazy after the gate. Our tour guide: Jensen insist that we enter the first structure which he referred to as the “Umoja Hall”. “In this Hall, students from all neighboring schools come for after school programs when they are not here for a designated lab session. There are 8 classrooms here, each classroom is purpose built for all levels of a pathway, there are 8 pathways, namely: Coding, Engineering design process, Drone, Cyber Security, Mobile Development, Data Science, Animation and Artificial Intelligence.” says Jensen.
The classrooms where unlike anything I had ever seen before. They look more like a silicon valley offices, with whiteboards and writings on all the walls, individual tables as well as communal areas for teamwork. The floors were padded and 2 sofas cornered the communal area. In one of the classrooms there was a giant glowing aquarium which Jensen informed us was created and donated by one of the attending classes. In another, a set of puzzles in the shapes of every country on the planet, also donated by students. The second building (Ukweli Hall) was more of what we expected when we imagined a maker space, there is a class setting for wood shop, a mechanical room, … However, even here, the design and amount of equipment featured, and made available to both students and adult craft masters alike is nothing short of impressive. Needless to say, at this point, we were so excited to see what the third hall had to offer. Disappointed, we were not. Referred to as the “Ubongo Hall” or “quiet hall” there are signs everywhere calling for silence. The first room is a mini library featuring more recent 20th century works, and above all a comics session. At the push of a bookcase, access is provided for the rest of the hall, where 4 more classes seat a number of individual workstation in cubicle like arrangement. A visiting classroom on their own tour were in awe when the bookcase was revealed to be door. Jensen informed us that the 4 additional classes are used as testing centers for various certifications including Toefl, AWS cloud practitioner, Google, and Azure certifications. From here, we had but 1 last stop, the pyramid shape admin hall which interconnected all other halls, and served as reception, offices for all members of the faculty, and also featured a game room.”
ItinereU now has 2 campuses: one in Accra and the other in Nairobi, with plans for additional campuses in Lagos, Ivory Coast, Kigali, Zanzibar and Soweto by the end of the year. With more campuses to be launched in major cities the subsequent year. Should you have the opportunity, please take a tour of these facilities and for more information, please visit http://campus.itinere.com.
The Architectural Design
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