NGO launches free offline digital platform in selected Kajiado schools

Children with WiLearn 4 Life digital learning devices in Kajiado East.

An international NGO, WiLearn 4 Life, has launched a free offline mobile digital project in Kajiado East Sub-county to boost access to digital learning and improve education standards.

Registered in Switzerland and focusing on digital education in crisis situations and offline communities, its primary goal is to improve education by providing high quality educational resources in multimedia formats to schools, particularly those with limited resources.

Victor Malombe, the regional project coordinator for Kenya, said the project dubbed Mobile Digital Library in Kenya empowers learners in remote areas with digital skills.

The initiative was founded by Roland Diethelm who worked in Kenya and saw a gap in the education sector. The NGO depends on donors to purchase the equipment and facilitate the project, after which they donate it to schools.

Victor Malombe, WiLearn 4 Life regional project coordinator for Kenya, conducts training in one of the Kajiado East schools.

The project aims to empower learners with computer, critical thinking and information literacy skills, ultimately bridging the digital divide.  It also seeks to address the inadequacy of teaching and learning resources in these schools.

In a bid to ensure a curriculum-aligned content, reach many schools and onboard more innovators, WiLearn 4 Life is partnering with various educators and content providers such as Virtual Essence Limited to participate in the implementation of the Kajiado Digital Mobile Learning project.

A unique design feature of this project is its operational efficiency. Instead of bestowing the digital learning infrastructure to one school, WiLearn 4 Life has collaborated with a group of local educators who are passionate in using and promoting EdTech in the Rankau area of Kajiado East Sub-county.

To facilitate the delivery of educational materials in many schools in the region, the team will utilize two motorcycles to transport the Mobile Learning Lab Interactive (moLLi) cases to the schools on a weekly basis.

These moLLi cases, containing essential tools, will be stationed in library buildings or other optimal locations in the school compound, allowing learners to access the content even from different classrooms.

This approach enables teachers to incorporate the resources into their classrooms using Wi-Fi-enabled smart projectors and tablets without the need for relocating the tools. To ensure seamless connectivity, Wi-Fi extenders will be strategically deployed as needed.

At the heart of the wireless learning lab is the full curriculum-relevant content accessed at zero cost. Digital information is available to over 50 mobile learners at any time.

No internet connectivity is needed, and the platform is powered by solar energy and batteries to operate up to 5 hours per day in areas that lack reliable electricity.

This ensures a safe learning environment free from online dangers and distractions.

The entire WiLearn’s infrastructure also operates independently of public electricity utilities by relying on powerful and portable solar panels. Backed up by over 300 Wh batteries, the digital library can run for days without recharging.

Learners can access digital learning content for free any time. It collates and curates high quality open educational resources aligned to the national curriculum.

This project therefore aligns very well with Kenya’s National Education Sector Strategic Plan (2018 – 2022), which aims to provide, promote and coordinate competency-based equitable learner-centred education and training for sustainable development.

The success of the project relies on comprehensive training provided to both teachers and learners. Digital literacy competency is an integral part of the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). In line with SDG4, this project aims to avail quality education to the marginalized communities.

The project has also been implemented in Nairobi, Narok and Wajir counties, and in other countries like Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Tanzania.

By Obegi Malack

obegimalack@gmail.com

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