Maasai School Teachers Increase Accuracy of Attendance Rates and Grades
Oct 22 2012, Kenya [KE], Education
The administrative staff and teachers of AIC Girls Boarding School in Kajiado, Kenya managed to increase the accuracy of the school’s grades and attendance figures and save time in one go, simply by using digital spreadsheets.
“Here, this used to be our school’s administration.” With a wide grin on their faces, four teachers of AIC Boarding School, show a huge stack of written paper that contain attendance rates and grades of students. “These papers represent about three days of work for us,” says one of the teachers. She then grabs about ten pieces of paper. “And this is the same information, but then created by using Excel. It’s exactly the same, but this only took us half an hour to make.”
Since June 2012 , this boarding school for Maasai girls is using four computers for administrative purposes. With the support of IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change Consortium together with Kenyan partner Dupoto-e-Maa (a Kajiado-based indigenous NGO), all teachers and administrative staff were trained in basic ICT usage and how to use the system, which will help to generate more accurate data about grades and attendance of students.
Keeping track of payments
In the near future, the system will also be used to keep track of payments. Maasai parents are often on the move, but in the beginning of the school year, they come to the school and pay the school fee for their children, which often includes boarding fees. Payments records will be kept digitally which makes it easier to see which parents already paid. The system will also help with keeping track of payments in terms, as many parents do not have the full amount at the beginning of the year. If payments are tracked better, this means that the school will increase its income which can then be spent on teaching materials and better facilities for the school.
For this reason members of the School Management Committee (SMC), a representative body of parents and other people from the community, received the same training as teachers and administrators. Not only does the use of ICT equipment increase accuracy, it also increases transparency of school data. This way, members of the SMCs can now keep their eye on school resources.
Downloading teaching material
With the project now running and with all computers now linked up to the internet, teachers have indicated they will also use the computers at the administrative office to download information. This information will help the teachers answer new questions from students and add up-to-date information to the curriculum and teachers’ notes. Dupoto-e-Maa, IICD and Edukans will guide this process, to ensure that the information contributes to improved teaching and learning and is locally relevant.