For decades, Kilifi County has been struggling with numerous challenges in the education sector ranging from high poverty levels, lack of access to information, and resources, poor infrastructure and shortage of teachers.
This narrative is, however, slowly fading away thanks to the digital transformation in a Kilifi school that has revolutionized and unlocked tremendous potential for learners, reshaping the way education is delivered, accessed, and experienced.
The Learning Hub school, located in the Kijiwetanga area on the outskirts of Malindi, is lucky to have been introduced to CENTURY Tech. This online platform uses Artificial intelligence to teach and gauge the performance of the Children individually, which makes a positive impact on learners.
The school initially started as an Institution for vulnerable students from the Imani Children’s Home, an orphanage founded by Faith Wanjiru – Mama Imani.
However, for sustainability, they recruited two-thirds of fee-paying students who cater to the Imani children’s home students’ scholarships and day-to-day operations of the school.
The concept of a school for orphans deeply resonated with the founder of CENTURY-Tech, Priya Lakhani, an individual of Kenyan descent residing in the UK. She generously provided them with free access to the platform to initiate its implementation at the school.
Faraj Waremba Nanzala, the Teacher who is in charge of the CENTURY-Tech platform at The Learning Hub school, says they were introduced to it in October 2022, and it has really improved the academic status of learners as there is more time for interaction between the learners and the course work content.
“The online learning platform has got several learning areas, and in my opinion, I would like to recommend the platform to other schools and any other educator in this nation,” he says
Nanzala says the platform can individualize the learning program and performance of a student, which benefits every learner.
With the program, he said a teacher does not need to walk around with files to mark assignments of students as the platform marks, and the teacher can see how each student performs in the subjects.
Initially, he says they started with grade five with 25 learners, but due to the impact they saw this year, they enrolled in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
“Every learner has got an account, and I can be accessed from home or any other place as long as I have a digital device and it is internet enabled,” he said.
Since the introduction of CENTURY-Tech, most students have significantly improved their performance in the subjects the platform covers.
For grades 3, 4, and 5, the subjects covered include Science, English, and Mathematics, while in Junior secondary, the subjects available are Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Health Education as additional subjects compared to the other grades.
Mama Imani, the owner of Imani Children’s Home, could not hide her joy at her children’s benefits from CENTURY-Tech.
“As a mother, I am very proud of CENTURY-Tech because I have no issues with Homework nowadays; my children love to do their homework; as you can see, they are even happy to sit without pushing them,” she says.
One of her children living with a disability – Maxwel Imani, is among the best performers despite spending months in Italy while on medication.
“For example, if you see Maxwell, I was with him in the hospital with no stress as I could monitor what he was doing; he had more time. That’s why you could see the chart is really up. He had a lot of time to do his work, and he could do any work wherever he could unless he had pain, she said.
Zosi Karisa, a grade five student at The Learning Hub, says that since the platform’s introduction, learning has become more impressive.
“Like, now I am doing digital skills application which helps me to understand about the digital world; it’s usually imperative because, like, now the world runs on digital devices,” she says.
Karisa, who is ten years old, says CENTURY has reduced their work and does not have to carry heavy bags loaded with books when going home, which improves their reading skills.
For her, Digital skills and Science are her favorite subjects because they help her understand more during her tests.
Ferdinand Ochieng, a grade six student from the Imani Children’s Home, says CENTURY has taught them more than what is being taught in class, which improves their understanding of the subjects being taught.
“The Problem with Century-Tech is it needs you to be online so that you can attend the online lessons,” he says, adding that he was introduced to the platform in January this year.
Ochieng says he has been able to learn more, particularly in Mathematics, English, and Science, as his performance has really improved.
Montana Chemutai says CENTURY-Tech has helped her, particularly in the Mathematics topic of Multiplication, which was challenging previously.
“I had challenges like when multiplying a big number, I could get confused while carrying numbers forward to the other number, but now I learned more through the videos, member cards, or the slide shows,” she says.
To her, the platform should be adopted in other schools so that it can make Kenya known for that technology and enable other students to get that experience, too.
Jemima Asiago, the Deputy Headteacher of Learning Hub school, said she is happy with the Century Tech application as it has reduced her backlog of marking books.
Alphonce Menza, the Learning Hub School Manager, says the school started seven years ago for Imani Children’s Home for Orphans but found that they get paying parents to sustain the project.
He says currently, they have 230 students, out of which 51 are from the orphanage, which are given free scholarships while the rest are the ones who are paying fees.
“Last year, we had the privilege of having our director meet the CEO of CENTURY-tech, Priya Lakhani, and they talked about the school in Malindi; the CEO thought it important to give the school the program as we were doing a project for helping the unprivileged ones,” he says.
Initially, he says they rolled it out as a pilot project, and it was successful, and currently, they are seeing many benefits out of it.
With these innovations, students can be motivated to understand the subjects being taught and have the urge to learn more.
Even slow learners have an opportunity to understand through the continuous tutorials, which enlighten them on the areas they make mistakes.