-What hardware technologies will be used (smart-phones, tablets...)? What methods of connectivity will be used? How will these be paid for?
We expect that mobiles will be used, but this would be further refined on our prototyping stage. Depending on the individual household situation we would make a further assessment of what technology would be used. We expect that the project could need to pay for internet connectivity at the home and at the school.
-Is this initiative specifically intended for girls?
We want to target girls initially as LCD’s research has shown that girls with disabilities face more barriers to enrolment than boys with disabilities. Girls with disabilities face double discrimination due their gender and their disability. Issues such as poverty, early marriage and fears for the safety of a girl with disability (especially when the school is located a long way from the home) contribute to this exclusion. However, once the pilot is developed, it can be scaled up to reach both boys and girls with a disability.
-How will out-of-school people with disabilities be encouraged/enabled to participate?
We will work with the Ministry of Education to identify girls with disabilities who will benefit from the initiative. We will engage with both the parent and the child to ensure they understand the project and are willing to take part during the inception phase. The project will also facilitate face to face meetings between the teacher and the child to assess learning needs and to tailor the approach. The project will also encourage child to child activities within the school and community to encourage collaboration and friendships between girls and boys with and without disabilities.
-How will teachers be encouraged to spend the considerable additional time to support such an initiative? Will they be paid extra to do so?
As part of our beneficiary consultation we posed this question to teachers. The response was that the teachers would be happy to participate and would not expect extra fees, as they would benefit from the training provided by the programme.
-Do you have local partners that you intend to collaborate with?
LCD has a regional office in Lusaka, which would provide oversight to the programme. This initiative is also a joint proposal between LCD and OU. We are still scoping out other potential partners. We have also had interest from the Ministry of Education in our approach, and would seek to involve them in the design and implementation of the programme. We have been looking at other partners who have been working on home learning approaches also to see how our initiative could potentially compliment their approaches.
-What kind of equipments will these children need to have at home? Are they able to use the same kind of equipments or the same kind of tutorials/classes?
We have refined our idea since our user map using the beneficiary consultation. The child would still continue to learn using school based approaches. LCD would advise the teachers on how to make existing resources accessible. Mobile technology would then be used to facilitate access to teacher in the classroom and their peers. In our analysis we have identified that most families have a mobile phone, and very few have internet at home or access to a PC. Therefore, we will focus on using mobile phones for our intervention.