By Anya Kamenetz If you want to study computer programming at a sub-Saharan African university, bring a pencil.
"We used to write programs on paper," says Ahmed Maawy of Mombasa, Kenya. "Say, write a program that calculates the area of a square. And you write that whole piece of code on paper. That's the test. It’s so crazy!"
The private technical institute that Maawy attended in 2002-2003 closed the doors to its computer labs outside class hours, giving students little chance to practice executing actual code. For this he was paying 120,000 Kenyan shillings a semester--that's $3,526 per year in a country where the national income per capita is $816. And at least that college was accredited. Another school where Maawy enrolled turned out to be a scam.