Back to school


Students returned to school this month after the August holidays, and we continued to work with the Great Debaters team to progress the iMlango Junior Great Debaters contest, the pioneering competition that utilises debating elements from the Great Debaters Contest TV show and iMlango’s interactive learning platform to deliver debating motions and capture student responses.

The contest is now into its second round after the first round results were released. There were 452 groups in total, comprising of 2,260 students that responded to the first round of the contest, with the top 100 groups progressing through to the second round.

The field team observed many of the group sessions that the students used to construct their responses, and it was apparent that a healthy dose of competition brought the best out of the students.

It was also interesting to see some recurring student attributes during the different group sessions, such as a leader emerging amongst the group members without the teacher appointing one, a ‘secretary’ being chosen by the group members to write down the response, and that everyone wants to type the work on the computer.

Commenting on the iMlango Junior Debaters Contest, Mr Munyao, a teacher at Mtito Andei primary school said: “The debate helped pupils in mastering the English language especially in reading and writing. It developed pupils’ creative thinking and research skills as they had to research for answers. It also prompted pupils to learn.”

Away from the schools we held our quarterly review meeting to ensure the programme remains on track. Our field team also held insightful meetings with education officials in the Uasin Gishu, Makueni and Kilifi counties to provide an update on the programme, in addition to sharing the feedback that we had received from the schools.

Until next time,
The iMlango team

How iMlango and Maths-Whizz are transforming education in Kenya

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.

The Girls’ Education Forum

The iMlango Junior Debaters Contest is in full swing across all four counties with students working together in groups to formulate and submit their responses. Once submitted, the Great Debaters team will then evaluate each response before announcing who has made it through to the second round, which commences after the August holidays. Elsewhere in Kenya, the field team held insightful meetings with county education officials in Kajiado County. They provided an update on the programme and shared the progress that is being made through the sustainability initiative.

In London, we participated in the Girls’ Education Forum that was organised by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in partnership with Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE, to help raise global ambitions on girls’ education. The forum brought together governments, private sector stakeholders, civil society partners and education champions to drive the implementation of the global goal to provide quality and accessible education for all.


At the event, Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening announced that the UK's Department for International Development will provide £100m of funding to help 175,000 of the world's poorest girls get an education. The announcement was featured on BBC News online, and we were very proud to see iMlango referenced within the article. You can read the article on the BBC News site here.

Until next time,
The iMlango team