Offline Intranet Resource Centre In Garissa

Elimu Resource Centre
byElimu Resource Centre

This month, we are celebrating a key milestone in our efforts to ensure continued learning for learners in remote and marginalized settings through technology. In late July this year, we helped set up the first pilot Offline Intranet Resource Centre (OIRC) for learners in Garissa County, which is in Northeastern Kenya. 57% of learners in this county cannot read or write due to multiple factors including a shortage of teachers in schools and frequent terror attacks in the past.

In partnership with UNESCO and the Ministry of Education, we established the OIRC in Garissa High School which hosts the server that transmits educational materials to Iftin Primary School, 5km away, using solar-powered mobile nano-stations and local area wireless connections. This Elimu innovation boosts the Wifi signal of the Kolibri learning management system over great distances.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, the Headteacher, Iftin Primary expressed his optimism towards this innovation, “this initiative comes as a relief to many vulnerable families that are not able to afford or access electricity/power and internet regularly. Learners are excited while learning and teachers can track progress of the students in real time making curriculum delivery much easier.”

"We are happy to see our children get such an opportunity to learn."

The system allows teachers to upload curated teaching content onto the platform and to monitor learners’ progress on given subjects. Learners can access a wealth of educational materials from their teachers as well as content already available on the platform using their government-issued tablets.

Dr. Elyas Abdi, Director General of Education, Kenya encouraged the learners, “This pilot is the first in the whole country and many will be looking to learn from you. Work hard and take advantage of this opportunity by utilizing the resources from this initiative wisely. Know that you have the support of the government, your teachers, parents and all those here today to grace this day.”

When UNESCO and the Ministry of Education approached us for a partnership to replicate the innovation that we had piloted in Malindi in Garissa County with them, we saw our dream of empowering learners across Kenya come alive.

The launch ceremony for the local community was graced by parents and guardians, pupils, teachers, and notable guests including the Chief Guest of the ceremony, Dr. Elyas Abdi, Director General of Education, MoE, Kenya; Saidou Sireh Jallow, Chief of Education, representing UNESCO Regional Director for Eastern Africa; Dr. Koriow Hussein, County Director of Education; Mr. Haret Khalif, Area Chief; Snr Principal Mohamud Mohamed Dubat, Garissa High School; Siyat Hussein, Headteacher, Iftin Primary School; government officers, officers from the Ministry of Education National ICT Innovation and Integration; Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology in Africa (CEMASTEA); and other staff from UNESCO.

During the launching ceremony, one of the parents remarked, “Though we did not get a chance to go to school, we are happy to see our children get such an opportunity to learn. This will change their lives.”

We look forward to improved academic performance among these students and a decrease in the number of learners who struggle to read and write.

At Elimu we are building learning communities across Kenya by empowering vulnerable learners of all kinds to achieve their educational and work-related goals. Our programs increase academic and technological literacy, improve primary and secondary school retention rates and encourage self-sustainability among young graduates.

All of this we have been able to achieve through collaborations with key stakeholders in the education sector, local communities, individuals, and institutions both government and non-governmental. We celebrate the strides we have taken and the impact our work is having in rural communities on the Coast of Kenya and beyond.