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Remedial Teaching System

Remedial Teaching - Enhance Quality Education through Technology

Introduction

Education is the most powerful instrument to facilitate changes required to achieve sustainable development (SD). Quality education is not easy to achieve because it requires extensive investment. In some cases, required resources (human and financial) are not sufficient to achieve the quality Education for All.

                                          Class under a tree

This is where the use of technology can assist to enhance the current teaching, learning and assessment practices.

As you know, technology is used to speed up processes and with minimal or without errors at reduced cost to enhance productivity. We can observe the same outcomes in education as well if the implementation of technology is well executed and in a sustainable manner to achieve set pedagogical goals. We developed a model to support quality education in disadvantaged rural communities.

 


Remedial Teaching System (RTS) - Tool for Quality Education for All

A lot has been done in achieving education for all (EFA) but the quality has not been keeping pace. The disadvantaged areas are most likely to suffer due to lack of sufficient qualified teachers, poor infrastructures and inadequate supply of instructional materials. Statistics from UNESCO and other international organisations show a shocking picture of illiteracy in schools and in communities.  Adult and youth illiteracy is extremely high, around 774 million people where two-third are women. There is a huge gap between rich and poor in most developing countries. Data on literacy tells us that around 175 million young people living in low and lower middle income countries, a quarter of youth population in these countries, have shown the inability to read all or part of a sentence.  In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of young people are not able to read.

 

57 million children are still failing to learn basic skills in literacy and numeracy, simply because they are not  in school or not getting adequate education. In fact, access is not the only crisis in developing countries; poor quality is holding back learning even  for those who make it to school. One third of primary school age children are not learning the basics, whether they have been to school or not.

RTS — what is all about?

The model we developed is supporting schools to implement the remedial teaching through eLearning and mLearning to help learners to revisit topics, chapters or entire subject in a specific Grade. Through this system, learners can access quality learning materials made freely available to them and then fill the gap where they are lacking required competencies. For example, a learner in Grade 8 having serious challenges in fractions can access content in Grades 4 and 5 to interact with the fractions learning materials and then take assessment to improve the knowledge and skills in this topic. Doing so, the learner will be able to improve his/her understanding of equations of first degree for example.

 


 

Quality Education in Rural Developing Countries

"Unless special efforts are urgently taken to extend educational opportunities to the marginalized, the poorest countries may take several generations to achieve universal completion of primary and lower secondary education as well as universal youth literacy… 

 

Extracted from "TEACHING AND LEARNING: Achieving Quality Education for All”. UNESCO 2013-14

It is widely acknowledged that quality education is a right for every child but most schools in disadvantaged areas are failing to achieve this goal. We should come up with innovative processes to fix this situation. Reasons why achieving quality education is a challenge can be looked at  in three main aspects:

  • Insufficient number of qualified teachers to drive the process to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show that a total of 1.7 million additional primary teaching positions will need to be created between 2010 and 2015 in the World. This situation defeats our goal to achieve quality education for universal primary education (UPE).
  • Quality learning materials are still not available in many disadvantaged areas in developing countries.
  • Financial resources are still lacking to achieve the goals of quality education

 


 

Why using technology is making a difference?

The cost of technology hardware has gone down drastically. Today you get low specification but good quality tablets below USD $100. Such tablets can carry the whole curriculum for Primary and Secondary levels for formal education; including TVET. Through this technological advancement, a learner can carry thousands of books in a tiny device weighting less than 0.15 Kg. Using such tablets, we are promoting four important concepts:

  • Reducing the degradation of the environment by avoiding cutting trees due to the need of papers to produce textbooks
  • Usage of Open Educational Resources (OERs) widely and freely available and of high quality. Doing so, we reduce the purchasing or the production of expensive textbooks that most developing countries find difficult to afford.
  • Schools kids are exposed to the usage of technologies that is a requirement for this 21st Century.
  • Usage of renewable energy, such as solar energy to power the equipment hosting/accessing the content.

The remedial teaching system (RTS) is using the above four concepts to enhance the quality teaching and learning we are talking about. This system has been designed and being implemented by Africans to empower rural areas in Africa using existing technologies adapted to the African context in a sustainable way.

 The Remedial Teaching System (RTS) Interface 

This model has been designed for disadvantaged rural schools and with this in mind, we designed a system that is accommodating schools with no access to electricity and even no access to the Internet. Such system will permit learners in disadvantaged communities to get access to quality materials through a well engineered eLearning and mLearning systems.

Math-Lesson through Video

As electricity in rural and urban areas in Africa is still a serious challenge, the whole system is powered by low cost solar energy and a hotspot is mounted within the school perimeter. Using such configuration, learners using low specification tablets will be able to access quality learning materials hosted on a low cost server.

 

The same system will facilitate access to quality Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development (CCESD) and DRR learning resources through integration approach while teaching any subject. One of the challenge of  CCESD integration in the curriculum is lack of resources for schools. Printing of such resources to serve all schools in every school in Africa is unrealistic due to cost involved and environmentally unfriendly.

 


How Does Remedial System Work?

The system is deployed in schools; especially  those in rural communities without electricity and without access to the Internet. The school is provided with hotspot capabilities where learners can access the content on the server everywhere around the school. This system allows the implementation of eLearning and/or mLearning  where it is believed it cannot take place.

Once the system is deployed, every learner is given credentials to access the system. This is important for teachers to monitor what learners are doing and especially monitor their progress.

Once  a learner has the login permission, he/she accesses the course and work on provided activities.

 

 Course Home Page

The system provides feedback once the learner is done with provided activities and this is done for effective learning. This system is not designed to replace the current classroom teaching and learning but to add value to the learning processes.

 Mathematics activities

Teachers can learn from it as well and then duplicate its good practices . The system provides to teachers with learners’ activities monitoring tools to assess learners activities.

Monitoring activities of Learners