What is the project doing?
- The key objective for the iMlango Project is to deliver improved educational outcomes in maths, literacy skills, and life skills for marginalized girls.
- The project combines high speed internet connectivity to schools; provision of tailored online educational content; electronic attendance monitoring with a conditional payment to families to improve non-attendance and reduce drop-out rates at school; in-field capacity in technology and support resources; and real-time project monitoring/measurement.
- The high-impact education program aims to improve learning outcomes of 25,675 marginalized girls across 195 Kenyan primary schools.
- The end-to-end solution is made possible by a unique combination of satellite broadband and e-commerce technology, supported by interactive educational and IT resources.
- At the heart of the iMlango project (derived from the Swahili word, "mlango," which means doorway or portal) sits a dynamic internet learning platform, accessed through satellite connectivity, where partners provide students with interactive educational content.
What is distinctive about this project?
To achieve improved education and life chances for girls marginalized through poverty, the program sets out to address the financial and cultural issues affecting girls that lead to reduced school attendance and drop outs from school. Underpinned by insight that families play a critical role in girls accessing and remaining in education, a comprehensive program has been developed encompassing key stakeholders— families, teachers, students, schools, and local merchants.
The project’s theory of change is based on four crucial principles:
- Connectivity – provision of internet to target remote and rural schools and communities via installation of quality, high-speed satellite broadband from Avanti Communications.
- Content – provision of an online maths tutor called Maths-Whizz, delivering maths lessons suited to each individual student’s unique profile and pace of learning; live online reports tracking students usage and progression; and a library of "whole class teaching" literacy and maths e-learning content, supplied by Whizz Education and accessed through sQuid’s Smart account for individual profiling.
- Motivation – provision of small financial incentives to encourage poor families to allow girls to attend school, using sQuid’s aid-sector proven smartcard payments system. Local merchants provide the access for electronic payment redemption and spend.
- Capacity – creation of secure learning facilities at each target school, installed by Camara Education with 25 PCs networked to the internet. This is combined with online tutorials, training for teachers and technical support to develop their capacity to use these facilities in teaching.
One of the most compelling and unique aspects of the intervention is the ability to measure and benchmark the project’s impact in real-time. Data includes daily attendance statistics at the whole school level (for more than 100,000 children) as well as measurement of access to the learning platform and progress of an individual in maths capability. The aim is to demonstrate how such an integrated approach can create a positive and lasting impact on marginalized girls and their communities.