Here is another blog entry from our loyal reporter in the field, Changez Ndzai. This month, Changez gives us an update of all the happenings at the Camara Kenya hub.
The iMlango Report:
The iMlango project is still making huge strides since I last spoke to you. The month of April is
usually a month where most schools here in Kenya break for holidays but this hasn’t stopped the project from moving forward. The Camara Kenya team, has been on the move to make sure every aspect of the project, especially technical proportions, are running smoothly and according to plan. In Kilifi county, about five school have already been signed off. This means these schools are meeting all the requirements as far as the iMlango project goals are concerned.
Progress is still being made in other counties like Kajiado, Makueni and Uasin Gishu, and our technical team has been busy in the field doing much of the installation works. This means by the beginning of the second term, everything will be in place for the students to begin training. Camara and Squid in the past two weeks have been organizing and conducting ‘Training of Trainers’ workshops, both here in Mombasa and Nairobi respectively. About eighty two (TOTs) have been undergoing training, and are expected to be able to pass on this knowledge and train other teachers back in their respective schools after the April holiday.
I got to spend some time with some of the teachers who were attending the one week training workshop here in our Mombasa Hub, and I managed to ask them what were they were expecting to get out of the training. There is a great excitement and happiness among the participants to be part of this programme as well as it being an opportunity to develop their IT skills. The iMlango project will shine a technological light on most of the schools that are situated in remote areas, where they would not usually be accustomed to such resources. It is a special gift to these schools, as one of the teacher’s explained to me, they never knew when this type of technology would reach them in the remote areas out of town as computers and other related technologies are more commonly found in towns.
Also, the training has given them another developing platform, opening their eyes to new technological experiences. Not only will this help them teach the school curriculum at a new interactive level but they also will be apply these skills in their day to day activities as society is also changing in accordance with technology. So this means, the iMlango project will have a huge impact,not only for the students but also for the teachers and their communities.
Rolling out The Aga Khan Foundation Project:
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is collaborating with Dubai Cares in partnership with the Governments of Kenya and Uganda and locally based ICT and mobile companies to test and demonstrate the transformative potential of ICT to strengthen teaching and learning in formal primary education, using mobile phones and computers. The geographical focus areas for this project are the coast of Kenya: Mombasa and Kwale, and West Nile in Uganda: Arua, Yumbe and Koboko.
After the data collection back in March, the project report was published a few days ago. According to the report the project is set to take off next month. This will impact about 15 schools in Kenya and 16 in Uganda, while 265 teachers are receiving training of how to use mobile phones and computers. Just like the iMlango project, the expectations here is of high priority according the report. According to the report, already an average number of teachers here in Kenya are comfortable using mobile phones and computers but also a large number require more training to increase their confidence and in order to roll out the project successfully.