The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) has announced a strategic partnership with the private sector to deliver e-learning programmes in Kenya to thousands of marginalised girls.
Project iMlango is a first of its kind e-learning partnership, led by global satellite operator Avanti Communications and its partners sQuid, the smartcard and digital payments system provider; online maths tutoring provider, Whizz Education and technology NGO, Camara Education. The integrated programme aims to improve learning outcomes for 25,675 marginalised girls, across 195 Kenyan primary schools.
Project iMlango uniquely addresses the cultural and financial issues that can lead to reduced school attendance and drop outs, with electronic attendance monitoring and conditional payments to families. At the programme's core sits an internet learning platform, accessed via high-speed satellite broadband connectivity, where partners provide students with interactive, individualised learning tools.
According to Lynne Featherstone, International Development Minister at DFID, "Education is vital to helping improve the life chances of millions of marginalised girls and protecting them from harmful practises like child and forced marriage. Through this private sector partnership we are able to deliver innovative and cutting edge solutions that mean marginalised girls in Kenya get the education they deserve."
Project iMlango will also deliver high-speed satellite broadband connectivity to schools, personalised mathematics tuition with a virtual online tutor, alongside digital learning content for mathematics, literacy and life skills. The project will also offer tuition and support to teachers to use ICT in their teaching, electronic attendance monitoring with conditional payments to incentivise families to send their daughters to school for use with local merchants, in-field capacity in IT, technology and support resources and real-time project monitoring and measurement;
"Project iMlango is a unique combination of high-speed satellite broadband and e-commerce technology, supported by interactive educational and IT resources directly addressing the societal barriers girls face in attending school, the programme will impact Kenyan girls and their communities on a huge scale. We are extremely proud to lead such a ground-breaking technical solution and to be working in consortium with such innovative partners. We believe the programme could have significant application across the education sector in Sub-Saharan Africa," said David Williams, Chief Executive at Avanti Communications.
The programme has been designed with the ability to measure and benchmark Project iMlango's impact in real-time. Data includes daily attendance statistics at the whole school level for over 100,000 children, as well as measurement of access to the learning platform and charting each student's individual progress over time.