Since the introduction of devolution system of governance in Kenya in 2010 through the promulgation of a new constitution, makeshift schools emerged among Pastoral Sub-Counties like East Pokot- otherwise known as nomadic schools. The rise of these schools was curtailed by lack of teachers, electricity, classrooms and learning materials like books.
Hifadhi Africa championed installation of offline e-learning systems, initially in 9 of these rural schools in northern Kenya. Apart from lacking the above basic needs, the schools had no internet access and electricity – which again is prerequisite for any form of e-learning. This is where our system is ingenious.
Coupling the raspberry Pi’s with android tablets and desktop computers permit the academic content to be deployed in schools that have no electricity or internet access. The schools we have targeted in East Pokot and Marsabit County, many of them have few or no textbooks. The GIF funding will provide a portable e-learning platform to many students who have had no exposure whatsoever to computers and to schools which have few or no textbooks.
These systems are urgently needed as the literacy rate in East Pokot and Marsabit are 04% and 26.2% respectively as both areas are predominantly inhabited by pastoralists who seasonally migrate in search of pasture. As a result, they exhibit the poorest education indicators in Kenya. The literacy rate especially in East Pokot is probably the lowest of any area in the world and 60% of the children never attend any school because the value of education is not recognized culturally. These systems motivate students to attend and stay in school.
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2020 the top 3 skills that employers will be looking for are complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. Two years is not far away, so what are we doing in our education system here in Scotland to prepare for this shift in the kinds of skills employers will be looking for?