Nokia has launched its Nokia Education Delivery System(NED) in Kenya. The NED works by supplying learning material to primary school classes 5 to 8 (K5 to K8) through the use of a cellular connection. The material is delivered to applications on a Nokia phone and can then be accessed through the phone or shared by a classroom by hooking up the phone to a TV monitor.
The launch was held Tuesday morning at the Raila Odinga Educational Centre in Kibera. The ceremony was attended by Kenyaâ€™s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, Nairobiâ€™s mayor George Aladwa and a number of cabinet ministers. Also in attendance were several Nokia regional executives led by Agatha Gikunda, Ecosystem Manager of Nokia East Africa.
The solution comes to Kenya after being implemented in other Africa, Asia and Latin America. Gikunda says that in Africa, NED has been deployed in Tanzania, South Africa and Nigeria. 150 schools are using the solution in Tanzania and the rate of class attendance has gone up from 55 percent to 70 percent.
In Kenya, the Nokia Education Delivery System will start with 12 installations, with three of them being at the Raila Odinga Â Centre. Others are at Kimichu Primary School in Thika, Kwoyo Primary, Katakwa Primary, Mwavulanga Primary, Central Girls Primary, Shujaa Mekatili Secondary and Nyamasare Primary . The pilot is in collaboration with Microsoft and the British Council of Schools.
The first installations will deliver Maths content, based on theÂ Khan AcademyÂ learning tools.
Each installation consists of a Nokia C6 mobile phone, preloaded with the Nokia Education Delivery application and a TV for video sharing with groups. The NED application allows Nokia to update the content catalogue centrally, allowing all the schools access to the new content by using the app to browse, download and play videos
The effectiveness of the project will be monitored at the start of the project and again after six months, after which the project will be extended to 100 schools.
The project is being rolled out in partnership with Airtel Kenya which is providing Internet connectivity. Speaking at the event, Michael Okwiri, Head of Corporate Communications Airtel Africa said that the two firms had partnered in providing educational content to 32 schools in Nigeria and would soon be reaching 100 schools in the country. Nokiaâ€™s belief is that the children will exhibit a marked improvement in their ability to understand and apply mathematical principles.
Raila Odinga Educational Centre has 1,216 students.
â€œIt may be easier for scientists and engineers to become teachers by providing Â incentives to attract them to to the classroom at Secondary Level. It is also important that students are given sufficient grounding at foundation level in Mathematics, science and technology. The production sector of Kenyaâ€™s economy is going to depend largely on engineers with relevant skills, â€œ said the Prime Minister.