Google.org announced Sh200 Million grant to support the use of technology in schools.
This fund will be released to RTI International to help in improving learning outcomes amongst lower primary pupils in all public schools in Kenya through the (Tusome Early Grade Reading programme).
The grant is part of the Sh5 billion commitment from Google.org which has been set to help close global education gaps.
The grant is said that it will help improve the literacy skills of more than 6 million children in primary schools, in line with Tusome’s goal of building the capacity.
The program aims to reach to over 100,000 Standard one, two and three teachers, 1,300 Curriculum Support Officers, 67 instructional coaches supporting APBET institutions and over 300 senior education personnel.
Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Google Manager for Policy, East Africa, and Michael Murungi said the grant will help RTI International meet the goal of the Tusome Early Grade Reading Activity.
The Tusome program was introduced by the ministry of education in 2015. It aims at improving the reading skills and fluency in children in lower primary schools.
The Tusome Early grade reading Activity is a collaboration between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKAID) to improve access to quality education in Kenya.
“We believe every student deserves access to quality education and recognize that technology can play a vital role in creating richer learning environments,” said Mr Murungi.
Tusome utilizes innovative data-based instructional improvement methods in reading and use of ICT integrated support through tablets.
The tablets are installed with an openly licensed mobile platform (“Tangerine: Tutor”) designed by RTI International and optimized for low bandwidth use, ensuring access to curricula content even in rural parts of the country.
Over the last five year, Google has more than USD110M to help close gaps in education.
Mr Murungi said “In addition to funding, we connect our grantees to technical expertise from Google volunteers and tools and products that accelerate their progress,”
Director-General in the Ministry of Education, Mrs Leah Rotich, said the Ministry has zoned the country into 1150 Educational zones with each zone manned by a Curriculum Support Officer (CSOs).
“ All the CSOs have been trained and provided with tablets loaded with Tangerine: Tutor,” she said
The Tablets have also been provided to the County Directors of Education, Sub-County Directors of Education, the Teachers Service Commission County Directors and the Quality Assurance and Standards Field Staff.
“These tablets are loaded with instructional materials to help them manage, support and supervise the CSOs in their respective counties.” She said.
Tusome’s Chief of Party, Salome Ong’ele said as a platform that can be adapted to local curricula and context, Tangerine:Tutor is uniquely positioned to help governments and NGOs close the teacher skills gap.