The following is a post by Indzai Amani Ishmael, Trainer at Camara Kenya.
Most African schools are lying in a state of poverty with the majority of pupils and parents living on half a dollar each day. This means that things like education are beyond their means. For the schools to acquire a technology-aided education is like building a castle in the air. Therefore, when the iMlango Project came in to help schools across the four counties in Kenya, it was a big boost not only for the schools but also for the government, as computers for schools project was within its manifesto.
Maths-Whizz, the main educational software used by the iMlango project, has been giving out powerful results as observed by trainers doing field work and performing refresher training. The thinking ability of pupils is rising, hence enabling them to perform more positively in their examinations. After the refresher training, many teachers expressed their gratitude for the software as it became their main saviour in terms of organising their daily duties, not just in maths but also other subjects like literacy, science, social studies and so forth.
Targeting the whole school from class one to class eight, iMlango has generated an overwhelmingly positive result by transforming the lives of thousands of pupils in all the Kenyan counties involved in the iMlango project i.e. Kajiado, Kilifi, Makueni and Uasingishu. Another factor that helps to boost these schools is the introduction of projectors and internet. Projectors are the main proprietors which enable teachers to deliver whole class learning, making their job easier.
Most pupils don’t want to move out of the computer lab as they find it more interesting playing with the computers than to go outside to play football or other physical games. This is showing how effective the project is on the ground. Not only are the children excited by the project but the teachers in all the counties are positively affected also. Most teachers are getting the experience of working with computers for the first time. The introduction of the internet and the special training for them had a major impact.
Koiluget Primary School is in Uasin Gishu county. Here the teachers were able to help all the students complete their assessments as they saw the importance of Maths-Whizz in their school, teachers like Madam Beth Waweru who is in charge of the computer lab. Madam Wareru speaks of the enthusiasm of the pupils as they see the animation, and when using computers for the first time.
Madam Beth saw an improvement of Maths grades in their school and how easy it was for the pupils to do Maths. It also makes teaching easier as teachers use the ‘wholeclass’ teacher resources. There has been a number of newcomers in the school, absenteeism is no longer an issue and Maths is fun both to the teachers and students.
Now teachers are organised digitally and the programme has made learning realistic and customised to the level of learners. Students are being exposed to ICT and interest has been created to continue working with the devices especially with the Maths-Whizz programme.