This project is funded by InnovateUK, the UK’s Innovation Agency.
In the communities in which SVRG works, improving education is a high priority. Rural schools are often overcrowded, difficult to reach, and poorly resourced. Teachers are poorly paid, resulting in high rates of absenteeism among teachers at government schools. Existing educational material (for example free apps or educational content environments like Khan Academy) is rarely tailored to these students’ language and curriculum needs, and requires access to good internet connection in order to work. Consequently few schools, especially poorly-resourced rural schools, use any educational technology to support teachers’ educational efforts or pupils’ learning outcomes. And when schools close, as now in the face of a global pandemic, the result is that education stops. There is no encouragement for, or facilities or systems to even permit, remote/home learning by students. And the consequence is that many will fall further behind in school or may not even return to school – especially girls whose parents may have been reluctant to send them in the first place.
This project aims to create a technical educational solution to assist with mathematics teaching in rural secondary schools. This will be in the form of a mathematics education app in both Swahili and English, to counter the problems that many students encounter in understanding teaching in English. It will cover a range of the Tanzanian mathematics secondary school curriculum. It will be possible to share this app through peer-to-peer sharing, so that a reliable internet connection, which often does not exist near rural schools, is not necessary.