Rwanda has recently achieved the highest enrollment rate in the whole sub Saharan African region at 97%, but with this has come a new challenge with the quality of the education provided. The relative inexperience of teachers coupled with overcrowded classrooms (58:1 ratio of students to teacher) and a number of other factors has resulted in almost 1 student in 5 repeating.
The proposed solution introduces a technology-enabled intervention leveraging decades of research in adaptive learning and recent successes of gamification in primary education, in conjunction with digitalization of the curriculum to ensure appropriate learning plans tailored to every student’s unique needs.
Recent policies aimed at increasing the coverage of basic education such as mandatory free education as part of the 9 Year Basic plan has achieved almost universal enrolment at 97%, however students in rural Rwanda face challenges with the quality of the education provided. The under provisioning of training to teachers, the recent switch in the teaching language from French to English and overcrowded classes as a result of higher enrolment rates have resulted in the highest repetition rate of the whole Sub-Saharan African region, with 17% of students in primary school repeating.
The proposed solution is an intervention aimed at supporting education within as well as outside of the classroom: providing an educational platform to complement traditional teaching, IgaVuba aims at delivering a highly tailored learning experience focusing on the unique needs of each student. By assessing the level of the individual and engaging them in an immersive gaming experience, the platform will challenge the student enough to promote their educational growth while making sure they do not lose motivation to continue in their learning.
This solution can thus be deployed in the classroom as a remedial intervention to help those students struggling the most – in the true spirit of leaving no one behind – as well as outside the traditional boundaries of the educational environment to promote further practice and growth. The inherently social dimension of the gamified environment not only ensures high engagement among the students, but also supports the development of emotional intelligence.
Recent policies in the education space from the Rwandan government have focused on widening access to education and increasing penetration of ICT equipment in the classroom, overlooking the importance of focusing on the needs of the individual. By providing a highly scalable and cost-effective means of reaching out to each student, an incredibly effective intervention is enabled to address the most pressing of needs in the Rwandan education system.
The proposed solution has impact on SDG 4.
- Secure initial funding
- Obtain buy-in from two schools already identified in Kibongo
- Digitalize existing curriculum with focus on user experience
- Create eLearning environment using digitalized content
- Train the teachers from pilot schools
- Engage with existing start-ups (e.g. Solve Education, Mindspark) providing
game-based teaching materials