Leading The Way: Empowering Women & Students in iMlango Communities

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iMlango Microloans - empowering women in our school communities

Women in general undoubtedly face greater financial constraints than men, but when empowered with a loan, the businesses they set up tend to thrive. Women who are economically enabled are more likely to send their children to school, with profits from their business being used to pay household bills and help pay for school-related costs, such as uniform.

Since making Microloans available to select iMlango school communities, we have seen more women access the service than men. This is good news for our girl students, as they are seeing female empowerment first hand at home and learning the valuable skills of money-management.


37 secondary schools and over 12,000 students now part of iMlango

This year has seen the addition of secondary schools to the iMlango programme, with 37 schools online with attendance monitoring and the learning platform. Across the four counties, 5,530 Form 1, and 6,968 Form 2 students are now on roll, with the collection of transition data from iMlango primary schools under way.

The students are currently exploring and enjoying boosting their general knowledge using the Q-Files encyclopaedia resources on the iMlango portal at lunchtime and after school clubs.


Leading the way in Kenya…

Back in March, representatives of the Ministry of Education met with iMlango programme partners and shared their plans and objectives for the coming period. In the fore was the recommendation that our education offering should reflect the new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). There has been uncertainty surrounding the CBC for some time, but the recent appointment of George Magoha as Cabinet Secretary of Education, with his background in this field, has been met with great optimism.

Digital literacy is one of the key competences outlined in the new CBC, while the Government's national ICT policy agenda is to fully integrate ICT into teaching and learning in all education levels. Additionally, the Kenyan government announced its plans of advancing learning outcomes country-wide through ICT by building computer labs in all public schools.

Our iMlango schools are ahead of the game here! The programme is already driving forward the Government’s plans in the Education sector, building digital literacy skills for students by using computers in classrooms and labs to develop important ICT skills, including typing and research skills with Q-Files children’s encyclopedia, and maths development via the Maths Whizz virtual tutor.

Until next time,

The iMlango Team


Whizz Education announced as winner of the ‘Collaboration with a School’ Award at the BETT Awards 2019


Last month, at the Troxy in London, Whizz Education were announced as winners of the ‘Collaboration with a School’ award at the BETT Awards 2019, beating nine other prestigious finalists in their category. This marks Whizz Education’s third BETT Award in recent years, and comes at a time of unprecedented interest in the organisation’s approach to delivering measurable learning gains.

Whizz Education provide Maths Whizz, a curriculum-aligned interactive and animated online maths lessons matched to each student’s unique strengths and areas for improvement for students in the iMlango programme. The Maths-Whizz Tutor acts like a human tutor by initially assessing each child’s unique strengths and areas for improvement and subsequently targeting weaker topics by adapting in real-time in order to address knowledge gaps in mathematics.

This award is in recognition of the contribution Whizz Education, and their partners, are making in working with schools to achieve transformational educational impact and the entry included a case study of Whizz’s work with Bahati Primary, an iMlango school in Kenya.

Richard Marett, CEO of Whizz Education, who collected the award alongside Svetlana Tarassova, the firm’s Director of Global Strategic Partnerships, and Eddie Ralston, Project Manager International Development, said, “We are delighted to be recognised by the judging panel at BETT for the contribution Whizz Education and its international partners have made in working with schools to achieve transformational education impact in some of the most challenging learning environments around the world.


“Our work in Kenya, and specifically our partnership with Bahati Primary School, who were the focus of this award entry, is immensely rewarding for all involved. The headteacher and ICT lead at Bahati are wholly supportive and the students should be deservedly proud of their progress in maths since using Maths-Whizz. Bahati is an exemplar case of how an engaged school, iterative program design, evidence and insight coupled with on the ground support can achieve optimum learning gains”

A big congratulations to Whizz Education!

Until next time,

The iMlango Team

Bahati Primary School: Achieving Excellence in Maths

Bahati Primary is situated on a dusty country road two hours’ drive from Kilifi Town in one of the most rural regions of Kenya. The school has made a name for itself recently as one of the most successful schools within iMlango. Despite its remote location and limited resources, the school has successfully achieved learning gains in mathematics through its collaboration with Whizz Education, delivering individualised maths tuition for students in marginalised communities through the iMlango learning platform.

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iMlango has implemented a range of strategies to combat the challenges that schools in Kenya experience: large class sizes, limited teacher capacity, frequent power outages and limited resources. Bahati Primary’s progress leveraging Whizz Education resources exemplifies the impact of innovative EdTech in raising standards in teaching and learning in the most remote and challenging of circumstances.

A student’s progress within the Maths-Whizz Tutor is measured in usage and progressions: higher usage (more time spent on the Maths-Whizz Tutor) leads to more progressions. A progression is achieved when a student completes a new learning objective within the Tutor. Per week, 3 progressions broadly indicates that a student is learning at an accelerated rate.

Towards the start of Term 1 2018, Bahati had an average of only 2 mins usage/week across the entire school. By Term 2 they were achieving an average of 158 mins/week in the month of July. That’s 79 times more usage than at the start of the year (see below). In June and July, students at Bahati were achieving on average 9.74 learning progressions a week each!


Image 1: Progressions in 2018

Image 1: Progressions in 2018


When compared to other schools within iMlango, Bahati has clearly excelled, achieving on average 736% more progressions than schools operating in similar circumstances in Kenya. Bahati excels not only by Kenyan standards. Whizz Education operates in 8 territories including the UK, US, UAE, Mexico and New Zealand. Out of more than 800 schools using Maths-Whizz globally, Bahati shines as the school with the highest usage and progressions

Image 2: Bahati usage within iMlango

Image 2: Bahati usage within iMlango


Mr. Nyiro, Headteacher at Bahati Primary says: ''The difference is that we are more involved, the teachers have started embracing the project and understand its importance in reducing our workload. What motivates us most are the pupils. Through individualized learning they are able to learn at their pace."

A key challenge in Kenyan schools has been overcoming teacher attitudes towards ICT integration in education. Many teachers had “ICT phobia” and felt that adopting new teaching practices was too challenging. ICT integration and innovation in education are an integral part of the new Kenyan competency-based curriculum. Bahati’s headteacher can therefore be seen as a visionary, anticipating changes to the education landscape by encouraging his teachers and the wider local community to engage, support and drive the project forward.

Mr. Nyiro adds: “The exposure of learners to Maths-Whizz has greatly improved their individual problem- solving skills. This is reflected in their improved performance in maths. The availability of a variety of materials that teachers can use motivates learners and arouses their interest in learning. The Bahati teacher has become the 21st century teacher who is supposed to embrace technology.”

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By providing regular support in the field through a local team, Bahati teachers are encouraged to share student data on a weekly basis to monitor progress, strictly follow the timetable so that all students have their allocated time on the Tutor and, where students are not making the prescribed progressions, provide individual support. This is done through regular school visits and capacity building sessions. One student says: “I love going to the lab to use Maths-Whizz because it has helped me to improve my maths knowledge. I like the way the formulas are explained. It’s easy for me to remember during exams. The Tutor also helps me when I get wrong answers, showing me how it’s supposed to be done.”

Bahati has taken on a leadership role in the area, sharing strategies to increase usage and progressions with other iMlango schools via a teacher WhatsApp group, encouraging a culture of peer support and community learning.

"Our school vision is to be an institution of excellence. The extensive use of Maths-Whizz provides an avenue for achieving excellence in maths performance, providing the learner with an opportunity to learn at their own pace, hence closing the learning gaps,” says Mr. Nyiro.

Through iMlango, Bahati has not only advanced the confidence and ability of its students in mathematics, it has also been transformational for the wider teaching community through championing the value of ICT-integration.