A new digital learning platform for primary education was on Thursday launched in Kampala, which government said will help children in lower primary better understand literacy and mathematics.
Ms. Katrina Stensson, the chief executive officer of Checheza, the organization that has developed the application, said it will allow learners to read, write, count and play games anywhere on smartphones or tablets without an Internet connection.
There are currently 150 pupils at a digital learning center in Bududa District to pilot how the digital platform works.
“Many children leave school without essential skills. It is time to look for new solutions,” said Ms. Stensson, adding: “When we make learning practical and fun, it will improve the learning effects. Playing the learning game on a smart phone at home makes it possible to improve performance in school.”
Two million Ugandan children enrol in Primary One but only 600,000 progress to Primary Seven, according to government statistics.
Mr. Michael Ochero, who represented the ministry of ICT, said technology has come up as a fundamental part that is taking the world toward digitalisation.
He observed that having interactive learning tools for the children is a momentous step towards development in Uganda.
“If this app is fully utilized, it will be a way of keeping children alert and creative. It will also be a good way of encouraging children to use the Internet for better reasons. Checheza has the full support from the ministry of ICT and we shall work hard to ensure that its applicability spreads to the rest of the country, especially rural areas, so that the education ground is levelled for both urban and rural schools,” he said.
Mr. Humphrey Mukooyo, who represented the Education ministry, said the integration of ICT in teaching and learning will create equality by enabling disadvantaged learners and teachers in rural areas to access the same information in real time like their urban counterparts.
He added that education institutions will be empowered to utilise more than one teaching method.
Mr. Mukooyo said the government will provide affordable computers to schools and connect them to the Internet to demystify ICT and prevent innovations such as Checheza from atrophying.
The new application is currently available in English and Kiswahili, Uganda’s two official languages, but will be upgraded with time to include other local languages so that its content is localised for the children.
Download the app here.