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CTL student earns top performance in science in Uyui District, Tanzania, credits CTL e-learning program

Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 by Ayoub Kiimu & Tara Stafford Ocansey

At seventeen years old, Irene Tamson is among the best girl students in science subjects across the Tabora region of Tanzania. Irene attends Lolangulu Secondary School, which has been supported by the CTL program since 2011. In 2015, CTL partnered with Studi Academy to implement a curriculum-aligned e-learning program in STEM subjects. The program, which was designed by Studi in collaboration with the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Tanzanian teachers, includes videos and assessment quizzes in physics, chemistry, biology and math for Form 1 and 2, the first two years of secondary school, with plans to expand to more grades and subjects. CTL, through partner Ericsson, provided tablets to be used to access the Studi platform. CTL has also provided the school with a Critical Links C3 server loaded with offline materials to make e-learning possible even when connectivity is limited or unavailable, as well a teacher training. Teachers have reported that the program has helped them identify where individual students are struggling, while students have reported that the program has helped them continue in their studies even in cases where teachers are absent or where certain subjects lack teachers altogether.

Studi Academy helps me to do my homework and learn new things and corrects me instantly after doing my quizzes.” - Irene Tamson

Lolangulu Secondary School is one of 18 secondary schools in Uyui District of Tabora Region. After the Form 2 examinations in 2016, Irene's performance placed her at the top among girl students in the entire district, and she alone was selected to represent the district at the Tabora Region student science competition. Irene's performance is of course a testament to her commitment to her studies, but also demonstrates the potential CTL and Studi's e-learning program has for student learning in STEM subjects, considering the reality that Lolangulu Secondary School has had no teachers for math or physics for two years, and has insufficient teachers in chemistry and biology. The headmaster of the school, Mr. Cleophas Bugombo said “The school lacks science teachers, but with availability of e-Learning Platform at the school, to some extent it has reduce the gap for science teachers.” Students like Irene are excelling in STEM subjects thanks to CTL and Studi's e-learning program.

The CTL Coordinator and Social Studies teacher at Lolangulu Secondary School, Hans Kimilike, goes above and beyond to make sure that teachers and students are registered and trained to use the technology in their teaching and learning. He explains that "We register them online and train them on how to use the e-learning platform and students are now busy, show interest and feel free to study science subjects while interacting with tablets. We also constantly use the C3 server for online and offline connection." Since Lolangulu's e-learning program has led to such impressive performance among students, Lolangulu's reputation as a school offering a quality education in the region has grown, helping to contribute to improved retention and enthusiasm among teachers. The school is currently working to recruit teachers for math and sciences.