2 Day workshop with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology

We launched the programme formally with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) this month, holding a two day workshop in the Masada hotel, Naivasha.

The aim of the workshop was to allow MOEST to gain a deeper understanding of iMlango. The workshop focused on a number of important subjects including: ICT integration in education, an overview on the iMlango programmme, how it would be implemented and the programme’s vision for the future. Representatives from Avanti, sQuid, Whizz and Camara were all in attendance to give presentations on their organisations, and the part they play in the programme.

The workshop went on to discuss important topics such as how teachers would be trained in the schools. To put this into context, the training would need to involve teaching them how to turn on a computer, how to access the internet and basic computer trouble-shooting.

Teacher training is imperative to iMlango as attendance data will be collected on a daily basis by the teacher, using the iMlango attendance tablet and contactless smartcards – which would then be used to monitor the pupils’ academic progress. Access to the internet and to the iMlango learning portal will also be controlled by the teacher – therefore this was a key discussion point for all involved.

iMlango has required careful planning and preparation, and this workshop provided the perfect setting for all stakeholders to align their understanding and vision for the coming months. As we say goodbye to 2014 – an eventful year for all involved with the programme – and say hello to 2015, we are well prepared to kick-on and make significant on the ground progress.

Until next time,
The iMlango team

Smartcards and hardware arrive in Kenya

Our smartcards and attendance monitoring hardware is all ready now. These were shipped from the UK and China simultaneously and arrived in sync, on-the-ground in Kenya. After collecting it all from customs, we were able to press on and transport the smartcards and hardware to the programme head office in Nairobi.

2 large crates were needed to transport the smartcards to the office. Another crate carried the attendance tablets and when it all arrived safely in the office, it was onto the next huge task!

The 156,000 smartcards – 6000 teacher cards and the rest for students - had to be manually sorted by school, and then by class to ensure the implementation packages were correctly arranged.

The attendance hardware also needed to be prepared before deployment. This meant the field team had to download the sQuid attendance app, charge the tablets and install the memory cards. Before the technological implementation, the tablets had to be thoroughly tested to ensure the technology would work in the field

Once all the cards had been sorted, the tablets tested, and it all signed-off from the team, it was time to pack it all away into the implementation packages – which included programme posters and end user manuals. The task to pack everything away is now fully underway and we envisage that it may take some time.

Until next time,
The iMlango team

Rural Kenya to Washington, D.C.

Monitoring and Evaluation is a critical part of our programme. We just completed 600 household surveys and 1700 academic assessments - the emphasis of these is on issues relating to girls education.

We also launched iMlango to the wider NGO and Government community at the 2014 mEducation Alliance international symposium, which is an invite-only event with approximately 200 individuals from over 70 organisations representing leading lights in the field of technology application for advancing quality education outcomes - particularly in low-resource and developing countries.

The event was held on the 20-22 October in Washington, D.C, and its aim was to bring together leading donor, private sector, NGO, ICT4E researchers, project innovators, and key policymakers engaged in the field of mobile technologies and education, to deepen knowledge exchange and collaboration for scaling project impact. It was an amazing event, and thanks to USAID for inviting us to participate.

Until next time,
The iMlango Team