Digital Literacy Programme in Kenya has received a huge boost, thanks to educational mobile apps designed by 14 groups from various universities in a three day Hack to Teach programme organized by Ideation Worldwide
Those Apps are easy to use and requires no internet hence ideal for teachers practicing in remote areas where power supply and internet is scarce
Speaking during the award ceremony held at a Nairobi Hotel, where three winning teams shared Sh60,000 prize money, Eng. Victor Kyalo, the Principal Secretary of Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology lauded the programme, saying that is best placed to fill few gaps in the wide digital literacy programme in the country
He said that untrained teachers make a huge chunk of the country’s education system with the current statistic indicating that at least 4 out of 5 school going children especially in informal settlements have been taught by untrained teacher
“I think it’s a really big plus for this particular hackathon to identify real challenges so clearly, which I found to be missing in other such events,’’ he said
“Technology is creating opportunities for the participants to learn from each other and solve real world challenges together”, said Mr. Simon M. Kavisi, the Deputy CEO of Teachers Service Commission (TSC) at the opening ceremony
On her part, Joany Huang, the Program Director of Ideation Worldwide reiterated the need to empower untrained teachers in the country, saying the apps made will reach at least 130,000 untrained teachers in the country
“Teaching requires as much expertise as any other professional field – if not more. For the five million underprivileged Kenyan children taught by thousands of untrained and unqualified teachers, this is our first step to change the status quo.
During the hackathon, participants came up with various ideas of an Android apps to scale up its successful education loan and school management programs
The Hack to Teach 2017 is the first ed-tech mobile platform geared towards improving the informal educational system in the country
During the three-day hackathon, experts from key tech and education stakeholders, including Ministry of ICT, University of Nairobi, BRCK Education, Africa Digital Media Institute, e-Limu, Moringa School, CEMASTEA and IBM Research, supported the participants throughout problem-solving process.
Team Uni-Informal, Mayne Dev, HTTP and Elimu Kasi were awarded 60,000 KSh in total, for Most Innovative, Best Product, Global Impact, and Excellent Engineering Awards respectively.
The prototypes range from inter-school course information sharing platform, an M-PESA for teachers to streamline registration and loan repayment process, to a SMS-based platform for small regular savings.
The participants were given field data and able to talk to real-life users, informal school teachers, during the event.