By Changez Ndzai
In its early days, the iMlango project began across four counties here in Kenya, which are the Kajiado, Makueni, Kilifi and Uasin Gishu counties. Travelling across these regions as part of the iMlango team was just an amazing experience for me. During my past blog stories about the project, I went into detail on the long term impact that the project will have on the children in these regions, but even already I am starting to see the immediate benefits of the programme. As I have been moving from one county to the other during my normal fieldwork visits, I have seen encouraging signs of improvement in a number of schools as the children have truly embraced technology as part of the school curriculum.
Last week I joined a team of four trainers who we are doing refresher training for teachers, which included personalised Maths tutorials as well as instructing these educators on how to effectively schedule and manage these new digital tools in the classroom that would enable them to provide their students with a greater learning experience. The training which is being carried across the four counties has opened my mind. I have been working with pupils on doing their assessments and teachers on facilitating how to schedule a timetable which would help them to use the computer lab effectively. I have seen first hand a big improvement in academic results and it truly is linked to the use of computer’s by the students and teachers.
The Mulumini primary school in Makueni county was the first school my colleagues and I visited and I spent a week observing the student’s progress with technology. My point of interest here, was the power of the educational software content used in ”MathsWhizz” and its ability to increase pupils problem solving abilities in relation to tackling mathematics. Maths has been viewed as a big challenge to most students, but over the past week I was able to see it in action when we helped students from class one to eight do their maths assessments and see just how it was impacting them on solving maths problems.
The attitude from the pupils from class one to eight was incredibly positive when using the computers, in-fact most of the pupils wanted to spent most of their time in the computer lab than in a normal classroom teaching environment. This was a positive takeaway as far as the imlango project is concerned. I was overwhelmed by another classroom scenario, when class threes students who had a chance to finish their Maths assessment, volunteered to help their fellows showing them how to use the software to aid them in solving their Mathematics problems. This week, my team and I will travel to the Kiliku Primary School in Makueni county doing the same thing and I will be bringing you more success stories about the iMlango project as we move from one school to the other, sure to be greeted with fellow success stories.