Despite the downturn in tourism in the past 12 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have remained fully committed to our community projects in line with our company mission. The Smart Learning Project (funded by the PD Foundation) was launched in Selenkay in March 2021 to empower the community through digital / technological skills.
The Selenkay Smart Learning Project was initiated by wiLearn 4 Life, funded by the PD Foundation and implemented in collaboration with Gamewatchers Safaris. The project launched on 22 March 2021 and local teachers and community members from the Iloirero and Lenkisem areas came together along with staff of Gamewatchers Safaris, our Gamewatchers Safaris Managing Director, Dr Mohanjeet Brar, and the CEO of WiLearn 4 Life, Mr Roland Diethelm.
The Smart Learning project seeks to empower students and local community on use of ICT learning that will empower the community and provide equal opportunity to learning for the Selenkay community. The main training objectives were to:
• Introduce digital learning
• Train teachers and some community members on basic skills to operate the server, projector and tablets
• Access the offline digital library materials on the server
• Learn how to use and connect the equipment to Bluetooth
• Upload and download lessons, photos and videos on the server and projector for student access
The Smart Learning Project is important because it will enable the Selenkay community and students to access offline education which was not available to them previously. The equipment has a portable solar pack that will provide energy to ensure easy access to the education material.
The initial launch day was followed by a four-day training workshop with 21 participants, including six teachers from Iloirero and Lenkisem Primary School, two Assistant Chiefs, two ICT interns who will help train the teachers when schools resume, plus other community members selected by the Headteachers and the school Board of Management Committee. The community members were selected based on literacy capacity, interest, a basic understanding of technology and ability to apply the new skills after the training.
There was 100% attendance each day for the training workshop and one of our trainees was accepted on to the Catholic Church computer training initiative after their very first day of training!
Each day the training began with reflection of the previous lessons learnt, challenges experienced and solving those challenges before getting to another session. On the last day the participants were put into small groups to work on a project that captured all lessons learnt during the training and they presented their work to the rest of the team. This helped us analyze the level of understanding and challenges experienced, and enabled us to identify if and where more clarity was required to resolve these issues.
Although the schools are on holidays, we gathered a group of children of different ages to involve them in the learning. Among them were three Grade 4 students who were handed tablets to explore the modules and the education library from the server. The younger children watched some videos from Kolibri which were projected on the screen. All the children were very excited about the project and ready to learn.
By the end of the four day training the participants were able to setup and connect the equipment, download / upload programs and documents and copy / save documents on the projector and the server. They were also able to operate and access the education modules and digital library on the server. Also, some of the participants were able to create user accounts and access the educational material on the Kolibri module. We were also able to connect the government tablets to the “Rachel” server, which will help more students access the Msingipack and other digital learning educational material.
It was impressive to see that, even after the initial meeting, some community members were inquiring where to source tablets and how to upload educational material from the server for their kids to use at home.
The Selenkay community was provided with resources to assist an awareness program on health, livestock keeping and female genital mutilation programs. These will be shared with the community when schools reopen in a few months time.
At the end of the workshop, the participants were each issued with a certificate to show that they successfully completed the training.
The community members were very grateful to WiLearn 4 Life for the initiative and to Gamewatchers Safaris for considering them for the ICT learning, and they recognize the positive impact on their children’s learning.
The full WiLearn 4 Life Field Report by Mr Roland Diethelm can be viewed here: Field Report Smart Learning Selenkay