Samsung Electronics and Safaricom Foundation have launched a partnership to support the Accelerated Learning Program in Bungoma County.
The event took place at Matumbufu Primary school in Bungoma and was attended by Samsung MD Mr Seok Min Hong, Safaricom Foundation Chairman Joe Ogutu, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Chairperson Dr Sara Ruto and CEO Prof Charles Ong’odo, as well as Executive Director of Zizi Afrique Foundation, Dr John Mugo. Also, in attendance was Dr Betty Mayeku, County Executive Committee Member (CECM), Education, Bungoma County.
(TOP: Ms Lydia Ochuna , a teacher at Matumbufu Primary School in Bungoma County explains the how the Accelerated Learning Programme works to Seok Min Hong, Samsung Electronics MD, during the launch of the programme held in Bungoma County).
The Accelerated Learning Program is a partnership between Zizi Afrique Foundation and Safaricom Foundation. The programme being implemented in Bungoma, Turkana and Tana River counties aims to support learners lagging behind to acquire foundational literacy and numeracy skills within a short period of time. Each County has 40 schools participating in the programme and over 7,000 learners in grade 3 to 5 have so far benefitted.
The program has both school- and community-based approaches. In the community-based approach, teachers have a maximum of 25 children for each learning session known as camps, held in the communities. A full camp runs for 30 days, with each cycle lasting for 10 days. The support from Samsung will see over 1,250 learner’s access a KICD-approved curriculum through 250 state of the art Samsung Galaxy 8.0 Tablets.
“Technology has transformed many sectors including education. Tools such as mobile learning, cloud computing, and gamification are dynamically changing the learning experience. When a child does not have access to education, it means that they are not operating in an equal competitive environment with other children and are potentially a step behind in life. This gap is reason as to why we are supporting the Accelerated Learning Program in order ensure that our children are well equipped for the future,” said Samsung Electronics East Africa MD Seok Min Hong.
“Our investments in education aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for Kenyans. However, we understand that we cannot do this on our own and that partnerships are key for us to achieve our ambition. That is why we are proud to be partnering with Samsung to ensure the Accelerated Learning Programme reaches even more learners in Bungoma County, said Joe Ogutu, Safaricom Foundation Chairman.
Recently, findings from a survey in 2018 in three counties in Kenya showed that 1 out of 2 of all children between 6 and 16 years assessed could not read a short text pegged on grade 2 level. The children who continue to attend school, but without the requisites to optimize the learning opportunities available to them, are the focus of the Accelerated Learning Program.
‘In the wake of COVID-19, we have come to appreciate the role that technology can play in sustaining learning. These tablets will support us not only to accelerate the learning of those left behind, and families who would never have dreamt of holding a tablet, but will also help safeguard some children of Bungoma from the massive learning loss occasioned by the prolonged school closure. We are really grateful to Samsung’, added Dr John Mugo, Executive Director of Zizi Afrique.
‘Samsung is committed to supporting the communities that we operate in and we are fortunate as a company to be able to leverage the power of our innovative technology to respond to the core pillars of the Accelerated Learning Program continued Samsung Electronics Managing Director Mr. Hong.