PROFUTURO-DIGITAL LEARNING PLATFORM
- Published: Friday, 27 October 2017 07:37
When Marian and Maria from Profuturo Foundation first did a presentation on Profuturo –Digital learning platform in September 2016, we did not have the slightest idea how the project would be received, initialized and then pick or rather be adopted in an Education System that is committed to teaching students for the purposes of passing examinations but at the same time following the set education curriculum ritualistically.
And for one of the schools with the highest population (over 2700 children) in Nairobi, with class sizes of 80-100 students in a class against one teacher, chances of accommodating this project were very minimal as most teachers would prefer to finish their syllabus, then struggle to at least check the work of their students, mark a few books and do revisions for examinations.
“I thought ‘baby Profuturo’ would die even before it saw the light of the day”, confessed the Head teacher of Ruben Primary School Mrs. Scholastica Opiyo during a farewell of one of our volunteers Liam Gallagher who played a big role in Igniting the Digital learning Program through consistent training, supporting teachers and doing a wide ventured research on the project with the teachers during his four weeks stay in Ruben Centre.
After a comprehensive one week training on digital Literacy program with the first group of teachers who were to be pioneers of the Profuturo program in November 2016, the discovery learning Area was transformed into a digital classroom and was equipped with both hardware (a case containing a laptop-server, a varying number of tablets and a projector) and software (educational platform and content) .The resource is self-powered for a whole school day, and the educational platform works without the need for Internet connection although occasional connection with Internet is required in order to update teaching content.
In January 2017, the program started with a lot of excitement and energy as it is a norm with any new project and in this case, most of the students had not interacted with tablets before and thus they were all enthusiastic about the new project. Teachers as well were quite impressed with the introduction of the digital learning and thus the project kicked off on a high note with the trained teachers training the rest of the teachers. However, with time, the fire started dying out and the digital learning program was now viewed as an extra lessons such as P.E lesson or life skills lesson and more of extra work. Stella who is the coordinator of the Profuturo Program in Embakasi East Constituency had a hard time ensuring the keeps running as the program was not integrated into normal learning but rather seen as a replacement of the teaching methods.
In September, Liam Gallagher a volunteer from New Zeeland initially volunteering in Tanzania at the Edmund Rice Secondary School Sinon joined Ruben Centre for a period of four weeks and got actively involved with the Profuturo project. Liam breathed life into the program as he spent most time training the teachers on supplementing their teaching with the tablets and making the lessons fun for the learners .He also held discussions with concerned curriculum development partners to try get more learning content to add to available resources. The program was revived with new energy and more teachers have embraced the program and they enjoy it. The Digital learning room has also had internet connection installation and this makes the project even better. The Profuturo program has a lot of advantages and lee ways for teachers to be creative in their teaching including downloading teaching content such as videos, pictures and more demonstrating materials online to supplement their lessons. The system provides an easy way for the teachers to access the progress of their learners online as the tablets are linked to the teacher’s laptop thus it is easy for the teacher to access the learner’s progress.
Even as we held a gathering that brought a number of staff together to just bid goodbye the man behind breathing life into the digital learning program "PROFUTURO" for the four weeks he has been volunteering here at Ruben Centre. Liam Gallagher received claps, kind messages, appreciation, lots of good luck wishes and promises of keeping the digital learning fire burning.
Thank you for your commitment to ensure’ baby’ Profuturo lives on and on. We appreciate all your time at Ruben and positive energy you invested in working at Ruben. You will be missed dearly Liam and we all hope you come back to Ruben.