The power of mobile phones in children’s literacy: Mama Imelda’s take.

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Jane Wanjiku sits on the office couch, waiting as her daughter talks to journalists. I steal the opportunity to chat with her about how her child started using our Mobile Learning platform.

Two years ago, she was not in a position to buy the textbooks her child needed in school. “She was failing due to her inability to do homework on time”, she says. “I could not even pay school fees on time, due to financial challenges”, she adds.
11 year old Imelda Mumbi is now a star. She has gone to several media houses, and speaks to journalists in fluent English. Today, she is the subject of yet another interview, trying to get a success story from a child’s perspective.

We go on with our side chat with Imelda’s Mom. “I started noticing a change in her grades without having bought textbooks”, she says. “She was busy every time on my phone”, she explains.

Now, every parent would be concerned if their child was always on the mobile phone. So Jane sought to know what her daughter was doing on phone. “She told me she was studying”, she adds. As expected, she was skeptical, and wanted proof that her daughter was actually learning and not wasting study time on some mobile games.

Jane was surprised to see her child answering school questions through text messages. “What was even more surprising was that she could ask questions to teachers and get answers instantly”, Jane says, referring to the Ask-A-Teacher feature.

Imelda Mumbi is one of the super users of our mobile learning product. She takes an average of 50 lessons daily during school days and 150 lessons daily during holidays. She is so active on the phone that her mother had to buy her a separate mobile phone for learning.

“My advice to parents is to give their children access to their phones as a learning tool and monitor them”, says Jane. “Before Imelda started learning on Eneza, she used to get marks below 280”, she states. “Now she gets up to 390 out of 500 marks, which I firmly believe is even going to improve”, she adds.

Imelda even knows what she wants to be at only class six. She would like to be an accountant, and to add on to that, since she has spoken to many journalists, she is considering journalism as a career. Well, that’s what literacy does to a child. It gives them room to dream of possibilities. We believe that Imelda and every child provided with the right tools for literacy can reach their potential.

Our web based mobile platform is accessible through any internet enabled mobile phone. It is an interactive learning platform which gives personalized feedback to learners to improve their academic performance. It has a value add feature called Ask-A-Teacher. We have contracted teachers who chat with learners, responding to their questions daily from 8am-9pm. For 100 Kenya shillings monthly, you can access ALL learning material for learners aged 13-18 years, inline with the local curricula. We are also accessible on free basics in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Nigeria, Liberia, Benin and Iraq.

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