SDG:4 Quality Education
Hamaisha -Education app
Inspiring meaningful engagement of students into competence based cariculum
The Government of Kenya began piloting the
2-6-3-3-3 system of education, designed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), in selected public schools in January 2019. Inadequate training and information has been hindering the implementation of the new curriculum, as most teachers teachers have said.
There has been criticism that the Government has been focusing on training only teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).The truth is that given the huge number of learners, most teachers in lower primary are employed by parents. This locks them out yet they are the ones to teach the new system. There has been much emphasis on digital learning yet there has been no adequate equipment to deliver it. Taking an example as a teacher You teach for 10 minutes and you are told to play a video but you realize you have no decoder and or even the video itself.
On the other hand In the private sector, school managers are forced to pay Sh7,000 per teacher for the training. They also buy books. The postponement of the new curriculum, means to financial losses.
However there is a gap that Hamaisha platform comes in, according to the Deputy President William Ruto more than 700,000 Class One pupils out of 1.2 million have received tablet computers under the digital literacy programme. Inaddition to that , Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) had partnered with Kenya Private School Association (Kepsa) to ensure private institutions also benefit from the laptops project.The deal with JKUAT will see the university manufacture about four million devices for the next three years at a fixed price of Sh15, 000 per device.The devices will be distributed to over 11,000 private schools throughout the country and are expected to benefit over 1.8 million pupils.
Irregardless of this tablets and laptops, there has not been a clear way to inculcate learning materials of the new curriculum into the tablets and laptops. Also there has been no proper, easier and cheaper way to train the teachers and also incorporate parents in implementing the new curriculum.
Hamaisha is a swahili name meaning derived from the word Kuhamaisha meaning inspire with a goal to help solve these problems through a digital platform.
What it does
Hamaisha incorporates teachers portfolios, student portfolios,formative incentives and parents communication all in one place ! Teachers get inspirations and ideas on what to teach in their classes. They get access to custom tailored materials to teach practical subjects like sports, teach music, arts, wood work and much more.
Hamaisha platform is flag shipped by a cross platform mobile app that provides clear and simple step by step on how to teach the practical subjects in addition to getting access to other teaching materials for the Teachers.
Students get a chance to follow pictorial and video tutorials with the assistance of teachers and parents! Students also get a chance to give feed back right from the students portfolio.
Parents also are not left out, the app lets parent see what their children are doing and celebrate their work, there is also a built in chat system where teachers get to converse with the teachers right inside the app!
How I built it
The mobile app is build using
react-native an open source library by Facebook for making native mobile app. The back end is supported by
google's cloud platform firebase with use of the
cloud functions to tailor notifications.
Challenges I ran into
The first challenge is lack of enough time for the hackerthone. The first phase began on the second week of June 2019 which involved the teachers section first for it being the most urgent. The other problem is lack of skilled collaborators from my region willing to collaborate followed by lack of enough funding and less available tailored teaching materials for the Kenyan curriculum. There has also been no available tablets that are currently being used in to test the beta app.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Making the first phase of the app to the google play store for android!
What I learned
I have learned that in order to make the implementation of the project, there is need to do more research and go to the field and collect data more regularly. There is also need to do more collaborations with content creators and other developers.
What's next for Hamaisha
Additional features to be shipped in in the next phase and also expect a cross platform desktop app made on electron js which is currently on idea phase. Hamaisha goal is to be a complete platform with a web app made with react.