The first iMlango Junior Debaters Contest has launched this month. The contest aims to improve student literacy levels and encourages students to discuss and debate thought-provoking topics that are delivered to the classroom through the learning platform.
To enter the contest, students are required to get into groups of five, and each group will then be registered using the iMlango attendance tablet to allow them to collectively access the learning platform to provide their response. Over the coming weeks, we expect there to be over 850 groups of students participating in the contest, and students have been advised to only work on their responses in the after school clubs, so to not impinge on valuable lesson time.
To progress to the later rounds of the contest, groups will need to decide which side of the motion they stand for and provide a carefully considered response by entering it directly into the learning platform. Their response will then be judged by the Great Debaters team and prizes will be distributed to the winners of each of the three contest stages.
Elsewhere in the programme, we welcomed the team from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) this month who visited two of our schools in Kilifi County to review the impact and effectiveness of our programme. During their visit, they talked in depth to head teachers and parents of students who are benefiting from the Support Initiative, which is now supporting 12,000 students. The ICAI team were also shown the quick and simple process that a parent goes through when purchasing food and goods at the local merchant, using the funds that are provided through the initiative.
Our team continued to engage with teachers and students out in the field, and while talking to some girl students to find out more about how iMlango had impacted their life, there were some shocking revelations. One of the girls revealed that she used to pay for her school fees by being a sex worker, but that the introduction of iMlango had influenced her to concentrate on her education instead. She said, “Since the introduction of the iMlango project my perception has changed. I abandoned this vice and I have decided to concentrate on my studies. In fact, for the first time since I joined school, my mid-term tests this term are the best so far. iMlango has restored my hope and dignity as a girl. I feel much more worthy to press on and face another day. It has opened my eyes and now I know that the world contains so many good things, and with education we can achieve them.”
A powerful message from one of the many girls in the programme that are realising the importance of their education, enabling them to unlock their true potential.
Until next time,
The iMlango team