Programme Focus Areas
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What is ICT4D?
ICT4D stands for "Information and Communication Technology for Development" and refers to all programmes that use ICT to support the development of children, young people, their families - SOS families and families of origin - and their communities. It includes use of any communication device--whether it is mobile phone, computer, television, network hardware and software, satellite and so forth.
ICT can support our programme interventions through capacity building (e.g. e-learning modules), direct essential services (e.g. a person in semi-independent living looking for a job using the internet), and advocacy (e.g. an awareness-raising campaign on children’s rights via SMS).
In Kenya SOS Children’s Villages Kenya is implementing the Open Space Literacy (OSL) Programme as an ICT4D Project.
Open Space Literacy (OSL) is an integrated, community-based literacy strategy. “Open Space” denotes a highly scalable, participative and adaptable model. The overall programme objective is to increase literacy skills of children in grades one to three in 300 schools in Kenya. This five-year program will directly impact more than 135,000 children, 2,700 teachers, and actively integrates parents and the local community. The program also promotes gender-empowerment, and is inclusive of disadvantaged and at risk children.
Key programme outcomes and activities
1. Supporting more than 135,000 children: OSL will increase student achievement, enabling a high quality education experience, and access to high quality digital educational content via laptop and mobile devices. Use of technology will enable immediate feedback and correction for learners of all levels, even in crowded classrooms.
2. Coaching more than 2,700 teachers: OSL will improve teaching quality and capacity through: training on facilitative and inclusive teaching methods including positive discipline and gender sensitivity; training in classroom leadership and management and the use of appropriate and context-specific ICTs as dynamic teaching tools. Teacher learning will be reinforced via voluntary SMS texts to teachers’ mobile phones. Software will allow teachers to automatically link and customise student data.
3. Engaging more than 33,000 community members and parents:
OSL will increase parent and community engagement through the development of school management plans that strengthen Parent Teacher Associations, increase the number of active volunteers and form Student Management Committees. Such integration at the programme design stage enhances local and cultural ownership promoting long-term sustainability.
How will Open Space Literacy work on the ground?
1. Local engagement: OSL engages key stakeholders to ensure local ownership and seamless transition to the community at the programme’s conclusion. The OSL concept has been validated through workshops with the Ministry of Education, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and with global, regional and national experts in education and policy. Currently, two schools in Kenya are showcasing the OSL approach, training teachers and preparing the schools for the introduction of technology for learning.
2. Local and international alignment: OSL closely aligns and builds on national and international strategies such as Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All Goals (UNESCO).
3. Technology in low resource settings: The range of technology used within the OSL programme will be relevant to the local context and a thorough assessment will be carried out before technology is introduced. Where schools have no electricity, recharge systems such as batteries, solar panels or re-charging kiosks will be used or installed and the community will be trained in long-term maintenance and sustainability of these systems.
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