The education landscape is gradually changing as new inventions and new ways of teaching become the norm. It’s worth noting that innovation does not only mean technology, but it encompasses any creative, new way of doing things. If it improves learning, processes and systems, or solves a real problem, then it is innovation.
As an organisation we are always leveraging technology to change our children’s future through education so we innovated and developed Ruzivo Smart Learning an interactive, digital online learning platform that allows children in disadvantaged communities across Zimbabwe to access quality education using internet enabled devices. Learn more of Ruzivo Smart Learning
In this blog we shed light on some of the ways in which creativity has been applied to solve some of these plaguing educational issues, across the African continent such as:
- High and unaffordable fees
- Lack of access to learning material for pupil
1. MOBILE SCHOOLS
In some parts of Africa, the tradition of nomadic pastoralism is still alive. People move from one location to another in search of grazing lands for their livestock. For children who grow up in such families, the on-the-go lifestyle proves to be a barrier to education as they struggle to attend school regularly.
Fortunately, for some nomadic school children in Kenya, access to education has become easier as they can now move around with their school! In 2010, the Kenyan government joined forces with UNICEF to launch mobile schools which brought education to learners whose families had to relocate frequently in order to survive. As part of the initiative, teachers now live and travel with the nomadic groups, setting up tents and temporary schools.
The mobile schools normally plan their calendar around rainfall patterns. Most of the learning takes place during the rainy seasons when children do not have a lot of household chores.
2. CROWDFUNDING FEES WITH FEENIX
The #FeesMustFall protests in South Africa shone a glaring spotlight on the issue of the rising costs of education. Many students are struggling to pay for their tertiary education. In an effort to help students, who cannot afford high university fees, crowdfunding initiatives have mushroomed. Feenix.org is an online platform which allows donors to donate money to students registered on the site.
1068 Live student profiles have been uploaded onto the platform which features their biographies and fees statements. Once a profile has been verified it, and the fees needed, becomes visible to anyone who visits the site. With the minimum donation set at R100 (US $7.5) anyone is welcome to make a donation. 85 Students have been fully funded since this initiative started.
Up to date R4.3 million has been raised by 744 funders (of which consists both individual and business funding). Donors are also required to upload their information and go through a verification process.
3. E-LEARNING IS GROWING
Technology is transforming education in Africa at an unprecedented rate. With the rapid growth of mobile learning, the e-learning market is set to be worth well over US $530 million by 2018. E-learning is not only helping students learn better, but it is also giving underprivileged learners inexpensive access to educational content.
In Kenya, adoption of e-learning is happening at an impressive rate. Schools in low-income areas are using technology to boost their learning. In Nairobi’s Kawangware area, students are using eLimu, an app for primary school learners to learn and revise for their exams. The platform contains educational content in the form of locally produced and culturally relevant videos, animations, songs, music, games and quizzes to improve learning.
One of the other successful e-learning platforms in Kenya is Kytabu, a textbook subscription platform that provides low-cost digitalised books to millions of students. Kytabu allows users to rent textbooks, chapters, and pages on a low-cost Android app and pay with M-Pesa, the successful East African mobile money transfer service.
4. LEARNING THROUGH ROBOTICS
Ghanaian company, Metro Institute of Innovation and Technology (MIT), offers school children training in robotics and mobile app development. Their aim is to promote science and entrepreneurship in this way. The company applies innovative ways to introduce technology to learners and help enhance their learning.
Offering lessons to children of all ages, MIT established the National Robotics Summer School. Attending this school, learners can take their science skills to the next level by programming robots and designing games. “We’re trying to use robotics as a tool to inspire the study of science and maths, to relate classroom theories using robots so that if we’re talking about a scientific principle, they [the learners] shouldn’t just memorise the facts,” explains Ben Nortey, Founder and CEO of MIT.
Credit: This article was originally published by africa.com