Tangerine:Tutor, an open-source data light learning platform pre-installed on tablets for schools, an iniative of RTI International’s Tusome (Swahili for Let’s Read) program has received $2m in grants from Google.org to improve learning amongst lower primary pupils in all public schools in Kenya through the use of ICT.
According to Michael Murungi, Google Manager for Policy, East Africa, “We believe every student deserves access to quality education and recognise that technology can play a vital role in creating richer learning environments.”
With the funds, RTI International will enhance the Tangerine:Tutor Platform, procure and deploy the devices, mostly tablets. Google.org’s technical expertise will help RTI to update Tangerine:Tutor’s technical infrastructure and open-source documentation to scale to other educational systems, including Uganda, Malawi and Nepal, in pursuit of their five-year goal of supporting teachers to reach 4 million students.
Tangerine:Tutor: is the first national tablet deployment in education in Kenya and hopes to expand to Uganda, Malawi and Nepal. Over 1150 Educational zones have been trained and provided with tablets loaded with Tangerine:Tutor. Tablets have also been provided to the County Directors of Education, Sub-County Directors of Education, the Teachers Service Commission County Directors and the Quality Assurance and Standards Field Staff. These tablets are loaded with instructional materials to help them manage, support and supervise the CSOs in their respective counties under the Tusome program.
Tusome is a collaboration between RTI International, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKAID) . The program utilises innovative data-based instructional improvement methods in reading and use of ICT integrated support through tablets which are installed with an openly licensed mobile platform (“Tangerine: Tutor”) designed by RTI International and optimized for low bandwidth use, ensuring access to curricula content even in remote/rural parts of the country.
The $2m grant is part of a broader Ksh 5 billion ($50 Million) commitment from Google.org to help close global education gaps.