International Day of Education 2021: Recover and revitalize education for the COVID-19 generation

We celebrate International Day of Education by speaking to a young Kenyan who is paving the way to improving education for the Covid-19 generation.

Education is a basic human right. It stands among the most necessary public goods and responsibilities as well. To celebrate the role of education for peace, progress and development in the world, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as the International Day of Education.

According to the UN webpage, the right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all.

Biology Lesson
Biology Lesson

Acknowledging the importance of observing this day, Youth Time spoke to Kiko Muuo, a young man transforming education across Kenya through digital learning opportunities.

In addition to our previous interview, this time Muuo shares more on how Angaza Elimu Initiative trained a large number of teachers across different schools in Kenya.

 

Recover and revitalise education

This year, just like all the other aspects of our lives and wellbeing, education systems all around the world faced numerous challenges caused due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The obstacles were tangible, regardless of the differences between respective educational systems.

As a result, this year’s theme of International Day of Education is recover and revitalise education for the COVID-19 generation.

In this interview, Muuo initially talks about their work on supporting teachers in Kenya to implement innovative ways of teaching with a higher focus on eLearning.

At Angaza Elimu they believe that for any technology to be a success in and out of the classroom the teacher must be involved as the key implementer.

“We focus on providing teachers with resources needed to deliver personalised instruction. This involves building teachers capacity on eLearning pedagogy skills.

“Our adaptive and interactive eLearning platforms helps teachers identify student specific needs and customize their instruction hence helping each student achieve their full potential.”

Face and overcome the challenges of remote teaching- Training teachers

Only in quarter four of 2020 Angaza Elimu trained a total of 1398 teachers across different schools in Kenya.

Muuo discusses the practical impact of this, mentioning that when schools closed indefinitely due to the pandemic many schools rushed to implement digital teaching and learning platforms.

“We saw a huge growth on our platform but the quality engagement product metrics were kind of disappointing.

“We sought out to identify why the new teachers on the platform were not performing quite well and found out that they were not adequately prepared to get started to use and implement the digital tool especially with remote teaching.”

To solve this, Angaza Elimu rolled out a teacher capacity development in eLearning to equip teachers with the right eLearning pedagogy skills.

“These skills included lesson planning, content development, assessments development, collaboration in virtual classroom, student progress and communication & feedback.

“We managed to train and impact 1398 teachers virtually over a period of eight weeks.”

After the training the teachers dived into implementing the skills learnt.

“In the last month of the year we noted a huge improvement in quality engagement of the platform. The product stickiness also improved highly from 31% to 67%.

“We are looking forward to recording improved learning outcomes from the students since their teachers are now more empowered to derive maximum value from our adaptive and interactive eLearning platform.”

In the classroom
In the classroom

 

Engaging youth and his message for International Day of Education

For all young readers of Youth Time, he further shares an initiative and advice about how youth are contributing and can contribute to their cause.

Before the end of 2020 they launched a program dubbed Linking academia to industry meant for students and the youth.

“This program will provide students and the youth with skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century workforce and as entrepreneurs who can lead to an increase in productivity and drive economic growth.

“We are looking forward to bringing on board different industry partners to strengthen our training by providing technical support and placement places for the students to experience the real industry scenario.”

Conclusively, he recalls that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the traditional teaching and learning models which have failed over the past years and the failure has been accelerated by the pandemic.

As per Muuo’s perspective, we will need a lot of time to reimagine education and ensure that never again learning and teaching stops.

“We need to accelerate the implementation of innovative teaching and learning methods.”

As previously highlighted through Transforming Education across Kenya – Angaza Elimu Initiative piece, this initiative brought positive changes in the community for various beneficiaries, such as students, teachers and parents.

In June 2020, Muuo shared with us some feedback gained from the surrounding circle who benefit from his platform. Check them out here.

Photos: Angaza Elimu

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