Mary Mount School in Molo District is one of the schools that has continued to benefit from the British Council Connecting Classrooms project. Joining the list of schools from the Nakuru, Nyanza and Western circuit digital train, the school is already recording huge impact from the surrounding community, who are befitting from the school’s digital hub.
The school received digital hub equipment with 20 workstations under the Project’s Digital Access strand with the objective to increase access to ICT infrastructure. The well-equipped hub, which is fitted with the latest digital technology including computers, printers, camcorders, cameras, unlimited internet connectivity , scanners, speakers and projectors, is a clear testament to the high level of digital interactions that the school is currently experiencing.
One of the main progressive outcomes that this hub has brought is the Teacher’s Training. The trainings that have been carried out in the hub include:
- Intel teach training teachers
- SMASSE training for Molo and Kuresoi district
- Badiliko training for teachers in Molo and Njoro districts
- Economic stimulus program ICT training for secondary school teachers
- Connecting Classrooms school patron’s ICT training
As a result of these trainings , the teachers in Mary Mount School have digitalized their teaching practices and approaches, leading to a notable shift from the traditional manual teaching approach. Furthermore, since this hub is serving the students as well as the teachers, their is a concerted effort by both parties to achieve the same level of ICT expertise. Consequently, this has minimised gaps that may have been experienced during the learning process. For the teachers, out of 27 teachers in Mary Mount, 24 have so far bought their own laptops.
Aside from transforming the lives of the students and the teachers fraternity, this hub has played a pivotal role in strengthening the relationship between the schools in Molo district and Peterborough in UK. These schools have a partnership under British Council’s Connecting Classrooms program, and hold regular communications and exchange of ideas through e-mailing and Skype.
During a recent fact finding visit to the school, a number of students gave their personal testimonials on how the hub had positively impacted on their lives:
Catherine Wanjiku Njagi:
“Through Skype it has made me make more friends outside Kenya easily and communicate with them for example Maggie, Simon, Daniel, Brooke and Alice from Hampton College. This has changed my perception that I had earlier towards the people from the west. The computers also have a program called Song Smith, with which I have been able to enhance my talent in singing and I have also recorded my songs.”
The hub has also been instrumental in my training and acquisition of computer literacy skills for example on how to use some programs in the computer such as Adobe page maker, Microsoft power point and Microsoft word. My skills towards using the peripheral computer devices have been enhanced. I can take good photos and print them, burn CDs for my own music instead of storing them in the computer and can operate the projectors in the school.
The hub, has taught me useful skills in storage of my past papers and revision papers in soft copy instead of paper bags and files.”
Elizabeth Nyambura Maina:
“Through the hub, I have been able to improve my data collection skills through the use of search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing. Through this I have been able to come up with reliable data that we have used in our Research , which consequently boosted our performance in the zonal and national competitions for the Research Club Of Africa.”
“The hub has further enabled me to improve my designing skills through the use of programs such as Collage, Christian Religious cards and Microsoft Publisher. I have also been able to preserve my art in an orderly and secure way rather than the paper which can be destroyed easily. With the aid of the hub, I have been able to see the light beyond Microsoft word and I have come to realize there are more programs like Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Publisher and paint. One of my memorable learnings is the provision of projectors and desktop in our classrooms which has made learning practical, fun and memorable for example in biology the topic on classification, use of virtual bodies and Google earth.”
It is apparent that with the current IT evolution in Mary Mount School, the lives and the learning practices of the student are set to improve for the better. With a broadening of knowledge in the environs of Molo, this digital hub is already a fundamental core point in the lives of this rural Kenyan community, in the use of ICT in innovative teaching practices, helping teachers hone their English language skills, and providing content to help teachers and students engage in a global environment.