Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), Qatar’s leading non-profit organisation, aiming to improve access to modern technology and quality education, announced a donation of refurbished computers to Pakistan Welfare Forum Prep School (Pakistan Education Centre) and the Egyptian Language School in Doha.

A donation of 50 computers, screens, keyboards, mouse, cables, 16 laptops, dock stations and bags was offered by ROTA under its computer refurbishing project to both schools. ROTA Executive Director, Essa Al Mannai, said:

These computers will enable children to have access to technology and learn using ICT, improve their access to quality of education and help them with future career opportunities…The computer refurbishing project has been a good programme that has helped schools in need of computer equipment and made an impact in creating friendly ties and breaking barriers of differences.’

The Egyptian Language School, a primary and secondary school based on the Egyptian curriculum is operating under the Egyptian Embassy Qatar. The donation will be used to set up a computer lab as one of the requirements part of the international GCSE (iGCSE), while the Pakistan Welfare Forum’s Education For All Prep School, is a preparatory institution for out-of-school children. The school follows the Pakistani curriculum to bring pupils who have never been in school up to speed in basic subjects such as math, English and Urdu as second language. After one year in the prep school, students can enter the main school of the Pakistan Education Centre.

Principal of the Egyptian Language School, Dr Ahmed Qabbary, said:

We are blessed with an organisation like ROTA who cares about the other’s needs. We are happy to receive the laptops and computers from ROTA, and have already identified the uses for these laptops…We will be utilising them in our computer classes to teach our students computer skills that will surely make a difference in their lives.’

Principal of Pakistan Welfare Forum’s Education For All Prep School, Uzma Paracha, said:

We are extremely pleased that ROTA is taking an interest in the success of education and realising the importance of technology. Words cannot fully express our gratitude for this remarkable gesture. We believe all courses in the future will need computers. It is good to expose our students to computers at a tender age.’

These computers were donated by the College of North Atlantic Qatar (CNA-Q) to ROTA for projects in Asia and Qatar, while the laptops were donated by Jaidah Group, including dock stations and bags.

To ensure ROTA possessed the skills to refurbish the donated CNA-Q computers on a regular basis, an expert from World Computer Exchange (WCE) had trained ten ROTA volunteers on how to refurbish, repair, test and prepare computers for installation in schools.

The ROTA Computer refurbishing project was initiated by Reach Out To Asia to address environmental impact of e-Waste and use refurbished computers to improve access to and quality education. Experts predicted by 2013, some 2.4 billion PCs will be ditched, leading to fears of an e-waste mountain.

Electronic waste (e-waste) is one of the fastest growing waste streams around the world. Rapid technological advances mean that the average computer has a life span of less than five years. The problem arises at the end of its useful life and is compounded by the hazardous nature of the waste.