Technology in education can greatly improve a student’s classroom experience and offers

school children from Kenya delight at the arrival of technology into their school

school children from Kenya delight at the arrival of technology into their school

them lifelong skills that they can take into today’s digital work. However, in order for students to really see the benefit from these digital learning systems, proper teaching methods and training is needed. A significant number of teachers are under qualified or in-adequately prepared to prepare their students to meet the educational demands of the 21st century. Placing a computer in front of a child alone will not provide them with the answers they need.

Camara Education has partnered with Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Dubai Cares, the governments of Kenya and Uganda and locally based innovative ICT and mobile companies to test and demonstrate the transformative potential of ICT to strengthen teaching and learning in formal primary education using technology.

A recent World Bank study found that only 19% of public school teachers in Uganda and 35% in Kenya demonstrated basic knowledge of the curriculum they teach. Often these same teachers lack opportunities for professional development, and as a result of district education resourcing constraints and distances between schools, opportunities to expand ongoing professional development for teachers is limited. This has a direct impact on students learning. ICT promises to transform how students, teachers and managers learn in all countries in the coming years.

This new project will focus on teacher training and support, using ICT to equip teachers with improved capacity, tools and content to strengthen their instruction and their students learning. The project highlights three interrelated areas of ICT to achieve this integrated aim:

  • Professional development for teachers, trainers and education officials
  • Student learning materials and opportunities
  • Monitoring changes in teaching practices and students’ learning

Ultimately, the project will help to provide regular and effective mentoring and support to teachers and monitor school performance and progress through the use of ICT.

This pilot project will be implemented into 43 schools in Kenya and 20 schools in Uganda. If the pilot is successful, this could be the way forward for those schools with limited power, budget and internet access in the developing world.

Today’s students, even in the developing world, will require ICT skills to have a chance for full and fruitful participation in society when they reach adulthood. The use of ICTs such as mobile phones, desktops, laptops and tablets potentially present viable solutions for not only cost effectively increasing the types of professional development opportunities teachers receive but also increasing the number of teachers that can be supported and mentored at any given time.

The aim is to demonstrate the transformative potential of these technologies in improving teaching skills and providing education to children in developing countries. Mohamed R Hassan, Deputy Head of the Mikandini Primary School in Mombasa, Kenya is delighted with this project and sees the long term benefits for students, “With technology, it is possible for the children to become the source of knowledge.”