Kirumbi Primary school is a typical example of a rural school in Kilifi. Serving a very poor community, students face several challenges including a lack of teaching infrastructure, poor learning environment and financial difficulties. Furthermore, over 90% of parents are illiterate. The school has 586 students, with an average class size of 45.
From the data that we have captured, the average attendance rate at the school is 66%, and the head teacher reports that there have been instances of school drop outs amongst boys and girls. At the end-of-year examinations in 2015, the school achieved an average mark of 168.57 out of 500, lower than the county average of 180.87.
Joanna, a Standard 7 student, is 13 and has 4 siblings. She comes from an average family in terms of the poverty level index and walks a distance of 7 kilometres to school, every day. She’s hard working, likes to explore and socialise with other students. Joanna wants to enrol in a good secondary school and college in the hope of achieving her dream of becoming a doctor. She says, “iMlango has helped a lot of pupils in my school to understand different topics in Mathematics and other subjects.”
Joanna has discovered that through the online children’s encyclopedia (Q-Files) that is available on iMlango’s learning platform, she is able to learn and find information about medicine. All she has to do is type in the word ‘doctor’ in the search bar and wait for the results. She has learned about complementary and alternative medicines through Q-Files as well. This has therefore improved her knowledge of medical terms. She says, “When a traditional herb is taken alongside manufactured medicine they are called complementary medicine and when they (the herbs) are used instead of the manufactured drugs they are referred to as alternative medicines. Knowing these terms excites and makes me feel happy and I must work hard to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor”.
Joanna has become proficient in using the iMlango learning platform and has been selected to assist her fellow students on how to access and retrieve information from the different subject modules. The school also provides whole-class learning, which uses a projector to display content on the learning platform. This method of teaching provides an engaging way to teach large numbers of students when one-to-one access to the learning platform is unavailable. Mr Morris Mkenye, a teacher at the school says, “We’re beginning to feel that pupils look forward to coming to school because they enjoy computer aided lessons.’’ For Joanna and her fellow students, iMlango has been the catalyst for them to focus and improve their education, and has empowered them to pursue their aspirations.