Promoting Education & Gender Equality Through Mobile-Edutainment
Xavier Project will introduce mobile education tools to improve access and quality of remedial education to refugees and host communities.
What problem does your innovation solve?
Public schools in refugee camps are often ill-equipped to deal with refugee influxes and struggle to offer quality education to their students. Overcrowded classrooms and language barriers lead to poor academic performance, absenteeism and high dropout rates. Girls face even more barriers, such as early marriage, pregnancy, and various cultural factors. Refugee students, especially girls, need support that public schools in emergency situations struggle to provide on their own.
Explain your innovation.
Xavier Project will collaborate with Viamo to deliver mobile-based learning on basic mobile phones to over 3,000 primary-aged pupils in Uganda. Closely based on the Ugandan national curriculum, pre-recorded voice quizzes and simple games will be available on low-cost, long life mobile phones, which will be provided to schools in urban areas and refugee settlements.
Xavier Project will develop the quizzes based on two academic subjects, accessible by calling a toll-free number. Each quiz will last approximately five minutes and students will respond to multiple choice questions using the phone’s keypad. After each quiz students are given their results and a summary on the topic including explanation of the correct answers included. In addition, we will integrate new, “gamified” learning on topics such as health, or WASH. In an already piloted strategy called Wanji Games (see video), an audio adventure that empowers participants to choose their own path and determine the story’s outcome. This strategy transforms educational themes into entertaining and relatable context-specific stories with multiple possible outcomes. Wanji games embeds scripts into audio games using real-life scenarios where users make choices and learn along the way.
Many gamified elements will target issues related to the education of girls in refugee settlements. Games on the topics of sexual and reproductive health, the importance of education, and gender equality will aim to sensitize students.
Xavier Project will make Wanji Games available to thousands of students to supplement their learning in class as well as to address critical issues that represent barriers to girls accessing education. Our aim is to address child marriage, early pregnancy, gender-based violence, and other issues which reduce access to education for girls.
We intend to start with 3,000 primary students in Class 7. Primary 7 is the final class at the Primary Level and is followed by the very important Primary Leaving Exam. This project will take place in refugee settlements in the West Nile Region. Girls will be at least 50% of the beneficiaries of the project. 70% of beneficiaries will be refugees and 30% will come from the host community. Success will be measured through academic performance and retention rates.
Teachers will also benefit from this innovation. In West Nile, there are too many students and not enough teachers, leading to teachers being unable to grade homework regularly, assess their students, and provide the support students need. This mobile platform will alleviate pressure on teachers who have huge class sizes as they can use it to assign homework which will be graded automatically and get real time data on their students' progress.
How is your innovation unique?
This innovation is unique as it makes education available to students at their time of need for as much time as they want to engage in it. Students can use a shared mobile phone or their own mobile phone to learn when they are interested in learning after school without needing additional capital such as extended teacher hours, tutors, or books that cannot be easily shared. This mechanism is interactive and progressive, allowing students to direct themselves to subjects they are looking to improve and graduating them as they excel and learn. Xavier Project has seen success with other forms of mobile learning in Kenya through SMS with Eneza in Kenya. Grades of Eneza users improved by an average of 22% through text-based quizzes. Xavier Project plans to introduce innovations in pre-recorded audio quizzes and exciting gamified learning to further engage children in their education outside of the classroom. All of this will cost less than $3 per student per month.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?
What is the accessibility/security of phones in the refugee settlements? How is the service coverage in West Nile? How accessible is electricity for phone charging? Do South Sudanese P7 students understand English at the necessary level?
Tell us more about you.
Xavier Project’s vision is for a world where everyone has the right to equal opportunities and protection wherever they live and whatever their background. Since 2008, Xavier Project has been using pioneering education projects in Kenya and Uganda as a means to change this and achieve our vision.
Viamo is a fast-growing social enterprise whose services enable organizations to engage traditionally difficult-to-reach populations through their mobile phones.
What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?
Emergency Setting - Elaborate
This program will be implemented in refugee settlements in the West Nile region of Uganda, where a majority of Uganda's 834,235 South Sudanese refugees reside. This approach is ideal for emergency situation where formal schools are present yet the quality is poor due to overcrowded classrooms and poorly funded education institutions.
Where will your innovation be implemented?
This innovation will be implemented in Rhino Camp and Adjumani, both refugee settlements located in the West Nile region of Uganda with high populations of South Sudanese refugees. The program will be tailored to the Ugandan National curriculum.
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Xavier Project has provided education services for refugees in Uganda since 2008 in both the urban and refugee settlement contexts. We are implementing partners with the Ugandan Government and Operational Partners of UNHCR. Our primary connection for this project will be Viamo with the programming and design of the software platform. Uganda's Ministry of Education and Sports will be a vital partner in the design and validation of the curriculum.
I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.
Sector Expertise - Elaborate
Xavier Project has implemented an SMS-based form of mobile learning to multiple sights in Kenya. As a result, we are familiar with designing curricula which compliment national systems and implemented a mobile learning project to over 2,500 refugees in Kenya in 2016.
Roll-out/Ready to Scale: I have completed a pilot and am ready or in the process of expanding.
We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
UK, Kenya, and Uganda