With schools across Africa closing their doors to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus,  millions of students in the country are facing disruption to their daily education. In these new realities, there is an urgent need to invest now in education systems/programs that can help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s education. What roles can different organizations play to either support schools, children or teachers to address the challenges presented by this pandemic?

For over 8 years, Supporting African Maths Initiatives (SAMI) has long supported innovative STEM education programs that supplement classroom learning and draw from existing best practices in education theory. In some of our programs, we have leveraged on the power of open source technology to make learning possible in different schools. Some of our programs that required school visits have been disrupted but we are finding ways to keep on supporting teachers and schools in Africa.

Some of our programs have been addressing gaps in teacher training and promoting the use of technology in teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary schools in countries such as Kenya and Ghana. This is one area that we have chosen to focus on under these new realities.

With only two hours difference, it’s noon in London and 2:00 pm in Kenya. Three facilitators, Emily, Samuel, and Jacob are engaging secondary school maths teachers in virtual training using google hangouts and GeoGebra. In this session, the teachers were exploring geometrical shapes. 

These teams of trainers have been working hard to create Geogebra teacher training resources. GeoGebra is mathematics software for all levels of education that brings together geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package. 

Other teams within SAMI and African Maths Initiative (AMI) have been designing and authoring interactive mathematics using the System for Teaching and Assessment using a Computer algebra Kernel (STACK) for Moodle. This is an online computer-aided assessment system for mathematics that also randomly generates problems in a structured mathematical way, establishes the mathematical properties of expressions entered by students and it also generates feedback, as necessary, which may include mathematical computations of the student’s answer.

These efforts could enable teachers, schools, and countries to prepare alternative learning programmes in the case of prolonged school closures by ensuring the continuity of quality learning and access to remote learning programs.

We believe that actively pursuing content creation and knowledge sharing through teacher training and capacity building will help us to deploy innovative and scalable solutions that boost mathematical literacy now and in the future. Learn how you can help achieve this goal!