When the schools closed and an ambitious government initiative to introduce digital learning in Kenya failed, the Zizi Afrique Foundation, a Kenyan non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting education, proposed a more realistic alternative. Poor families with schoolchildren were given solar-powered radios that broadcast school lessons.
Unlike the expensive tablets proposed by the government, which need the Internet and electricity, the use of radios turned out to be much more affordable: 100% of the population have access to sunlight (while only 18% of households are provided with electricity). The solar receiver is charged by the sun during the day and works for three days then.
The initiators solved the problem of educational content simply: they asked the presenters of the local radio station to read lecture notes from the national curriculum of Kenya on the air. During the week, lessons are broadcast in English, on Saturdays in Swahili.
Since the launch of the project in May, the foundation has distributed 1,660 solar radios in Tana River and Turkana counties at a cost of approximately KSh 18 million ($ 165,000).
The reaction of schoolchildren to the proposed teaching format is quite predictable. Zakaria Abdula, a 10-year-old schoolboy from Dida-Ade, said with a smile: “Before the advent of radio, we grazed cattle to help the family every day. Now we don't always work - we have to listen to the radio on Saturdays. "
School receivers have two perks - a solar-powered light bulb and a slot for charging a mobile phone, which makes the unit valuable for the whole family.
After the schools open, Zizi Afrique remains on track and plans to expand solar radios to eight more districts. “We are ready to share this idea with the entire continent, with governments, to ensure that students in remote areas have access to quality education,” said fund spokeswoman Sarah Ruto.
Based on materials from Link
P.S. This innovation has not yet reached the slums of Kibera, the "education system" in which we well imagine. We will definitely help Alfred Okumu to find the entry point to the program and get a couple of radios for his students.