Impressive learning at the Kyabirwa Children’s Centre!

We were really happy when today we received this fantasic update on the Skoolbo pilot project in Uganda. Skoolbo board member Jeff Halley dropped in to the Kyabirwa Children’s Centre to say ‘hello’ to some of the children and to see first hand how they are getting along. He must have been impressed as he wasted no time at all in rushing these wonderful photographs to us along with a video showing some marvellous learning taking place.

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Here’s what he had to say –

“I visited one of Soft Power Education’s centres today. Most impressed! Skoolbo is being diligently used as a teaching aid with children from two schools at least two to three times a week. There are some awesome teacher’s aides in charge and it is hoped the project will be scaled up to involve more children very soon.

Moments like this sure beat the day job!”

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More information on the project is available on our website –

Children in Uganda improve their skills on Skoolbo

An African Opportunity

Skoolbo’s dream is that every child learns to read and gains confidence with numbers. This short video demonstrates perfectly that this is achievable even where there is limited power and no internet connection. Now over to the children…

Children in Uganda improve their skills on Skoolbo

In April 2014 we reported on Skoolbo’s exciting new partnership with Soft Power Education (SPE). SPE are a British registered charity and Ugandan NGO working with communities in Uganda to improve quality of life through education. Skoolbo’s Chief Operating Officer, Colin Brown, had the pleasure of visiting SPE, twelve tablets in hand, to launch an exciting and ground breaking pilot in two of the schools they were working in. You can read more about the launch here –

An African Opportunity

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Children aged 4 to 6 years from Buwenda Pre School and Kyabirwa Children’s Centre (KCC) in the Jinja area were introduced to Skoolbo and over the coming months were enthusiastic particpiants in the pilot.

We thought it was time to check back in with them to see how the children are progressing.

Like many schools in the area there is no internet connection in either school and limited sources of power. This has meant that the classrooms have, up until now, been effectively technology-free environments. As a consequence many of the class-based adults were unfamiliar with using educational software to support and promote learning.

Skoolbo has been developed to overcome such barriers. The children in the pilot are able to play Skoolbo in ‘offline’ mode. The tablets are taken to SPE offices every few days for charging and to establish a connection in order to sync data. The experience for the children is identical to that of a child playing ‘online’ in the UK. Children’s avatars are matched with opponents in the warp room in the same way and they then compete in exciting racing games. As Skoolbo is designed for independent learning, the supporting adults require very little training.

It was great to hear that the technology worked so well but what did the children think and what progress did they make? Well the reports are highly favourable. The teachers tell us that the children really look forward to their sessions and as the learning algorithm sets the curriculum for each individual child, the volunteer adults rarely need to intervene.

It’s all about the improvement…

The independent nature of learning with Skoolbo is vital as in Uganda teacher to student ratios can be 1:100 which can obviously make it very difficult to ensure children secure basic literacy and numeracy skills. We are therefore absolutely thrilled to report that the children using Skoolbo have made an amazing average improvement of 112% across Literacy and Numeracy!

We know that usage equals progress and were therefore delighted when the 116 SPE students topped the school UK leaderboard!

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and they even made it to second in the world!

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The pilot is ongoing and we’ll be checking back regularly to see how it is progressing. In the meantime we’d like to leave you with this fabulous photograph of Samuel from KCC which we think speaks volumes –

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Well done Samuel and well done to the amazing students of Buwenda Pre School and Kyabirwa Children’s Centre!

An African Opportunity!

Uganda is a special place although to look at it geographically it is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo but that is the only the start of the tale.

It lies almost entirely within the Nile basin and contains a large amount of lake Victoria the second largest freshwater lake in the world. As a former British Colony (independent since 1962) – English is the first language.

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Nakanyonyi Primary School, Jinja

Uganda adopted universal primary school education in 1997 which saw net enrollment rise from 2.3 million to 7.5 million in just over two years and created obvious knock on issues with teacher capacity, school and classroom infrastructure.

Skoolbo has been delighted to partner with Soft Power Education  who have been working in Uganda since 1999 particularly to help the Ugandan government achieve its millennium goals with regard to Primary School education.

Soft Power Education have refurbished 50 schools in the Jinja area so helping to deal with that expanding school roll with only 30 more to go! They have also been working in the Murchison Falls Conservation area since 2007.

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Children first time using Skoolbo in the classroom

Colin Brown – Director of Partnerships for Skoolbo visited Soft Power with Jeff Halley and 12 tablets (Samsung / Nexus) to start an exciting and ground breaking pilot in East Africa. The tablets will be used in a range of educating setting including pre-schools directly run by Softpower and the Nakanyonyi Primary School.Orientating the teachers with the tablets was almost as much fun as introducing the children to them. The opportunities of using touch screen technology combined with Skoolbo’s education game was quite an eye opener but once we had got over the initial impact the game started to draw the children in and you could start to see the real impact in learning.

We look forward to posting regular updates on Skoolbo in Uganda as the pilot progresses!

 

The team in Uganda

The team in Uganda


The Skoolbo team in action