The IT CUP centre: an essential learning environment for the students of the Itasy region

For young students from Miarinarivo and the Itasy region, Madagascar, the IT CUP centre has become a point of reference for assisting them in their studies and learning. Among the different activities proposed at the centre, the Cybercafé and the after-school support are an opportunity for them to further deepen their studies, conduct research and even learn new skills thanks to the opportunities that the Internet and learning apps can offer.

“I am currently taking my exams for the Brevet d’Études Professionnelles (BEP). I decided to come to the IT CUP center because I need to do research on the subjects I study in high school and complete the teachers’ explanations. I also come because if I need to, I am provided with support… I encourage all high school students like me to be curious and conduct research to deepen their knowledge” Tojosoa, 18 years old, 2nd year in civil engineering at the Lycée Technique Professionnel de Miarinarivo.

The possibility to access the Internet and the support offered during the after-school support sessions allow students not only to improve their results at school, but also to catch up any difficulties caused by various reasons, as Herlin, 17-year-old student confirms: “My parents moved to Miarinarivo at the beginning of the third semester so I changed high school even though the curriculum was not yet finished in my old school. When I arrived here, my classmates had already started their program and where doing revisions. So I came to the IT CUP centre to catch up and make up for the lessons I couldn’t attend. I watch YouTube videos to have more explanations and I study the exam subjects from previous years that I find online.

A considerable advantage of the IT CUP centre is the personalised follow up thanks on one side to the staff that assists the students during the after-school support sessions and on the other side to the technologies and learning apps, that allow students to learn at their own pace, as Kevin, 16 years old, explains: “I come to the after-school support sessions to learn English online, using the Duolingo app. I learned about this during the Saturday activities at the centre. It’s been now three weeks that I’ve been using the app and I learned a lot, it suggests exercises, lessons and it corrects also my mistakes. I really like the app because it allows me to follow my progress, and I’m becoming more independent than before.” Even if around 70% of the beneficiaries of the centre are youth, the activities offered to the adults help increase their self-confidence: “It’s been two months now that we use the tablets during the French classes with Ms. Noro. Using learning apps has a positive impact on our reading, listening and writing skills. In addition, the tablets correct our spelling mistakes,” Miandry and Honoré, from the security and kitchen staff of the ALABRI centre.

After the summer holidays, all the activities are starting again full time. These include the technical club to learn the basics of programming, the cartography club to learn the basics of digital cartography and even new activities like the cine club, which just started. “The IT CUP centre has been conceived as a vector of social links through digital technologies to respond to the needs of the local community with a sustainable development perspective. We are particularly proud to see that, after nearly ten years of activities, the centre keeps evolving in collaboration with other local organisations present in the area and still has a positive impact on the development of the region” says Monique Lanne-Petit, TSF Director.