Tabichi applies technology to reach out to his students

Friday, November 13th, 2020 00:00 |
2019 Global Teacher Prize winner Peter Tabichi is celebrated by his students at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School, in Nakuru, last year. Photo/PD/FILE

Award-winning teacher, Peter Tabichi, yesterday said he has been using mobile phone technology to reach students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tabichi said he uses AprendiZap, an innovative solution, which can help African children without home computers access learning materials during the pandemic.

AprendiZap was developed in partnership between the Lemann Foundation, Brazil’s leading not-for-profit education organisation, Imaginable Futures and 1Bi Foundation and has brought remote learning materials to nearly 150,000 children in Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic via the country’s most popular app, WhatsApp. 

“WhatsApp has been an invaluable tool for me to ensure my students, many of whom are from poor backgrounds and lack access to a computer, can learn remotely during the pandemic. I was excited to hear about AprendiZap’s success in Brazil,” said Tabichi, in a statement.

Scalable solutions

Tabichi, who has a keen eye on technological developments, said such scalable solutions could help transform remote education for some of the poorest children in Africa and give them access to essential learning materials.

“It is these kinds of innovative tech solutions and co-operative partnerships, backed by strong evidence of their effectiveness, that can really make big breakthroughs at such a perilous time for global education.

I hope foundations across our continent will look at what has been delivered in Brazil as they develop their own bold plans to help children in Africa, where a similar digital divide exists,” he added

Lemann Foundation chief executive Denis Mizne said with many schools still closed worldwide, or at risk of further lockdowns, it is crucial to innovative ways to connect teachers and students when they are not able to interact face to face.

“We are keen to share our best practices and the lessons we have learned from AprendiZap with foundations that work in Africa who are looking to take similar initiatives forward.

I hope lessons from such partnerships can be learnt in every corner of the world, especially where young people do not have access to a computer,” said Mizne.

He said there is still no single solution capable of serving 100 per cent of students hence the need to work with a variety of partners, across a number of platforms, looking hard at the evidence, to design and implement projects to reach the greatest number of students possible.

Tabichi, a science teacher is the winner of the Global Teacher Price 2019.

The free learning platform enables interactive access to a weekly study plan with content and activities created by expert teachers for students.

With even basic mobile plans in Brazil granting unlimited data access to WhatsApp, this has proven to be critical means of reaching some of the country’s most deprived children, and is reflected in the 135 per cent increase in AprendiZap users accessing the tool over the past six months.

More on News