Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, kakamega
Bukokholo primary school standard seven
At Bukokholo standard seven and standard eight were the only classes exposed to the one laptop per child project in Africa. The evaluators were informed that this was due to the limited number of resource including the laptops, the desk, and room space among others
Bukokholo primary standard seven pupils were eighty four in number and a total of 12 pupils were used for the evaluation exercise, This was due to the limited number of laptops; and classroom desk on which they were expected to work from
The pupils had been introduced to the write activity and provided with the knowledge of HIV/AIDS. The pupils utilized the laptops to compose, and share their knowledge and ideas among themselves and other members of the communities. It was established, 100% (22), that on 8th-12th may 2010 the pupils had visited Alicia 40 children center. The pupils 100% (22) had revised question on HIV/AIDS- on 24th march 2010 after having been introduced to the write activity and then introduced to the record activity. The chart activity had enhanced their communication process and the pupils 100 (22) could share ideas through poems, songs, videos and role play.
Standard eight sample
The standard eight pupils were 33 in number and out of the total, 30% were used to evaluate the program and this culminated to a total of 10 pupils. The evaluation indicated that the pupils had been introduced to keyboard signs and therefore 100% (10) were able to do write ,record and photo activity on 11th-25thmarch this really excited them.100% (10) indicated having the know how on shooting video and audio sounds on the XO.
It was established that the class did no visit Alicia 40 children center on 8th-12th as indicated by 90%(9),though a 100%(10) of them indicated that messages recorded from the orphanage were discussed in the regular classes for awareness.
It was observed that irrespective of the limited resources the number of pupils and teachers who were interested in the program me was enormous. Even the rest of the school teachers who were not directly involved in the program expressed their desire to have the knowledge and exposure to the laptops.
The major challenges observed at Bukokholo primary school were similar to those of the secondary school sector as indicated below.
BUKOKHOLO SECONDARY SCHOOL
Thirty percent of the total population was utilized as the unit of analysis in the evaluation
At Bukokholo secondary school the program has been introduced to the form one student irrespective of the fact that .the rest of the students in the school showed tremendous interest in the project
The form one class has a total of 64 student and 30% were involved in the evaluation exercise.. This gave a total of 20 students. The evaluation revealed that the students had been introduced to the keyboard parts and their function and had done the writing activity which 100 %( 20) enjoyed greatly
The students, 98% (19) agreed that they were introduced to the record activity after the writing activity .They also pointed out that they had used the record activity to interact and communicate among themselves. However through the interviews the students also pointed out that they had learnt how to take photographs and to calculate using the laptops. The students, 100% (20 ) agreed that the laptops were an asset in their education and pointed out that they were better off now than before the introduction of the laptops since the students can access information from the Wikipedia in areas of science namely Biology, Physics, and Chemistry .The students however pointed out that the program would be more beneficial if the other social science subject such as Geography, Business Studies, Christian Religious Education, mathematics, among others would also be introduced in the Wikipedia
BUTONGE PRIMARY SCHOOL STANDARD SEVEN&EIGHT SAMPLE
At Butonge ,the project was exposed to standard seven and eight pupils only .The evaluators were informed that this was due to the limited resources; rooms number of laptops, time and transportation of the laptops available. The program is carried out on Tuesdays and Thursdays of the week.
The universe for evaluation consisted of 157 pupils, 60 from standard 7 and 97 from standard eight.30% was used as a unit of analysis .It brought on board a sample of 50 pupils who were interviewed. The objective of the evaluation was to establish how the XO mathematics curriculum was presented to the pupils with the aim of improving their performance.
Of the fifty pupils interviewed, 100% (50) agreed that they were introduced to the basic features of XO in week one, where they were able to do write activity. In addition, 100% (50) indicated that they had been introduced to algebra and simple addition which they understood. 80% (40) indicated that they had been taught turtle Art and therefore were able to give its functions. They were very excited about turtle Art feature as they pointed out that one needs to instruct it to do what he/she wants. In outdoor activities,100% (50)
Agreed that they were able to measure the length of their classrooms which they enjoyed doing.
It was observed that the pupils were exposed to basic skills in XO mathematics which had positive implication on teaching and learning of mathematics. the pupils pointed out that OX laptops help them solve mathematics problems. They expressed that they enjoyed working on the laptop and therefore have improved their performance in mathematics and have now changed the notion that mathematics is a difficult subject. It was observed that other classes showed a lot of interest in the program.
However, XO mathematics curriculum was not fully covered as programmed due to the challenges outlined below. Most pupils expressed the need for an examination to be administered on the topics they had covered.
Challenges Of The Project
The following challenges were pointed out by the students in the above institutions, as a major hurdle in the implementation of the program. Inadequate time 100%( 20) of the respondents pointed out that time was an issue since the secondary school only had Monday afternoon the last lesson to games for the computer lesson, while the primary school had Tuesday and Thursday for the standard seven and eight pupils. Their teacher however pointed out that they occasionally seek for time outside the regular class time.
Another challenge was the number of the laptops. The charity teacher reported that the project had twenty two working computer and only 18 can sustain power for two hours and incase the inbuilt power system was depleted the teacher had to suspend its use.. The teacher reported that the charging exercise was equally costly and time consuming and suggested that if a better option was available then it would be better. It was however observed that the rural electrification program was in progress and therefore the hope that in future a special classroom can be contracted for the computer studies
It was also reported that the volunteer teachers had to use the same computers at Butonge primary for the mathematics program as well and that the teachers had to share the same laptops with the students. They indicated that transportation of the same laptops from one school to another was proving to be cumbersome .They suggested that it would help them to improve their skills and expertise if they could have more practice hence the need for the teachers laptops besides the ones used by the students. The students suggested that there should be an improvement on the touch pad for the XO laptops or provision for mouses be made if they fail to work.
The students requested for more teachers for the program 100% (20) It was observed that the program had two volunteer teachers and therefore teachers/student ratio was low . The program coordinator however reported that the major hurdle was the financing of the program since they could not adequately pay the stipend to maintain the volunteers adequately .However it was hoped that when the program stabilizes then more teachers would be brought on board.
The students believed that the project was good because it gave them an opportunity to learn what they could not have learned and connected them to the global Village. They also observed that the project enhanced team work among the students and has greatly helped them to improve on the academic performance .The computers facilitate knowledge and can help them store essential information besides making them computer literate.
Hands of charity team members evaluation
The students were welcoming to the team and were willing to teach them how to utilize the XO program. The learning of the program didn’t take long since the two members were computer literate and only required familiarity to the laptop .The team spent a total of two hours at the secondary school three hours and Bukokholo primary school and two hours at the Butonge primary school.
It was not easy to resolve the XO technical problems hence those laptops that had technical’s problems had to be taken to Nairobi for further management The students interacted adequately with the laptops exhibiting knowledge of the same .They were able to complete the learning task that were assigned to team .The write activity seemed the most successful though some of the pupils at the primary school could not express themselves adequately in English The write activity facilitated other activities such as record and chat activity , these enables the students to record songs and take photos.
The next stage of the project should include improving the resources such as the number of laptops ,population involved so as to in corporate the rest of the school administration The churches can also be involved so as to increase the HIV/AIDS awareness. The Wikipedia should incorporate all the subjects in the curriculum i.e. the social sciences beside the sciences.
The adaptability of the computers to retain power for longer time should also be considered and since rural electrification is in progress then maybe the establishment of a computer laboratory would be plausible
XO has been observed to be an effective technique of instruction to be utilized and that it would appeal to the learners ‘senses and enhance high retention of what is learnt this was observed from the chart activity done by STD 7 over HIV/AIDS awareness. It is away of motivating learners and teachers to vary in their pedagogy to sustain learners’ interest in the learning process. It is imperative that XO has the potential to play a significant role in many aspects of the design, development and delivery of educational programs in the coming years. This is observed from the XO mathematics program. XO has the capacity to promote and encourage the transformation of education from teacher – centred to pupil –centred as by its own nature is a tool that encourages independent learning.
Generally for the Kenyan government this program is an endeavor towards the achievement of the vision 2030 and the Millennium development goals.