CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

7 March 2014

Kenya: Qualcomm Pilots Tablets in Kenyan Schools

Qualcomm has carried out a pilot at Nairobi's Embakasi Garrison Primary School a project dubbed 'power of m-learning in Kenya' aimed at enhancing academic performance in primary schools using 3G enabled tablets.

The project that is in partnership with Bboxx Kenya, eLimu, iHub Research, Safaricom and Motorolla in collaboration with the Kenya Ministry of Education is expected to be scaled up to cover other public schools to complement the laptop programme being instituted by the government.

The project also aims at tackling various challenges such as electricity in most schools with the tablets relying on Solar energy to power the tablets.

According to eLimu CEO Nivi Mukherjee which has digitized the Kenyan curriculum the tablets will also tackle the teacher to student imbalance with recent statistics indicating that the teacher to student ratio has gone up to one tutor to 56 students as well as boost understanding of various subjects.

"This project provides a sustainable solutions to chronic teacher shortages, high levels of absenteeism among both students and teachers, lack of education and other education materials," said Nivi.

The content by eLimu has been made to be more interactive and engaging through the form of songs, games, quizzes and animations.

"The animations capture their attention (students) and fascinates the learning process. As teachers we no longer cough because of chalk dust and we can also use the tablets to come with schemes of work and lesson plans," said Marha Mayenga, a Maths and Science teacher.

Teachers say the technology will help to improve learning outcomes, child literacy, numeracy, social awareness and cognitive thinking as well as equipping children with life skills that contribute towards making them better future citizens and leaders.

"It is interesting and exciting to be using a tablet in class. The videos and the colourful images makes it easier to remember and understand things. The tablets also have summarized notes which are much simpler to read compared to reading textbooks. This will definitely help me improve my grades," said Septi Deborah, a class seven student.

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