Pilot test of blended learning platform gets positive feedback |16 May 2022
A pilot project to test out a blended learning platform in various schools around Mahé has received positive feedback from everyone involved.
The three-month pilot project, nicknamed the Vanilla school (Vschool) project, was conducted by Mavericks Pty Ltd in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
The application education app, created to allow teachers, students and parents to interact through digital classrooms, is packed with tools to share notes, assignments, and modules.
The pilot study, from January to April this year, targeted teachers and students from the Mont Fleuri secondary school, the Glacis and Baie Lazare primary schools and the teachers, students and parents from the Perseverance primary school.
The Mavericks team travelled to the various schools to teach the participants how to use the app, yet another way to facilitate learning through virtual mode in the classroom and at home.
The report of the pilot study was handed over to the principal secretary for Educational Services, Merna Eulentin, by Mavericks’ representative, Dorian Marie, in a small ceremony held at the Baie Lazare primary school on Friday morning.
This was in the presence of principal secretary for Education Sector Development, John Lesperance; the head teacher of Baie Lazare primary school, Agnelle Monthy; council chairs; head teachers from other schools; teachers; parents; students; the Mavericks team and other guests.
Addressing the gathering, head teacher Monthy said that the app has been very well appreciated by the teachers, students and parental feedback is also very positive.
She stated that the project, which targeted P5 and P6 pupils in her school, aligns well with the school’s strategic plan 2022-2024.
“We strongly believe that with great access to gadgets and reliable internet connection, this will enhance the betterment of education in its entirety and propels the school towards the national quest to embrace technology in every aspect of our daily lives,” she said.
During the ceremony, some participants from the school who took part in the study shared their experiences. Maths and Science teacher, Clement Hamuhuma, said the app is stimulating and fun to use and as such is attracting pupils’ interest to learn.
He noted that the app saves time and materials in that pupils’ work, such as homework and research, can be sent on the platform in the form of pictures, modules and notes.
Mr Hamuhuma stated that as the app has no time limit, a lesson can go as far as the internet connection can allow and this is good for both the slow and fast students because a lesson can be fully explored without any interruption.
He noted though that internet connection was a major challenge to most of the learners hence they failed to log in during live sessions.
“If Mavericks app is fully implemented in our school, it would provide students with the chance to learn from each other and this will improve pupils’ academic performance. Furthermore this app would enhance parental support to students’ learning and in turn it would keep the learners focused on their academic work,” teacher Hamuhuma added.
As for Akim Quatre, the app is very easy to use and helpful as it helps him to communicate with his classmates on different topics anytime and anywhere.
He noted that he had wanted to see all of his classmates using the app but unfortunately some pupils in his class do not have a personal gadget or internet at home,” said the young student who noted that he wishes that the school continues to allow and give them more practice to use the app.
His mother, Angie Mondon, said that the app is a great learning tool for self-learning and will be of great advantage in the case of school closure, as it will ensure learning to continue.
Explaining the use of the app, Louys Bell, a member of the Mavericks’ team, said that they had wanted to develop services that make people’s lives easier with the use of innovative technologies and creating a digital ecosystem and being a driver for a paperless environment.
He thanked the ministry for its collaboration to make the pilot scheme to integrate technology as a tool for education a success.
He said that Vschool will create the same social excitement as other online platforms on social media.
PS Lesperance later said that for the way forward, the ministry will evaluate the pilot report for its own analysis to see if and how the modality of the app can be incorporated into the education system.
“We will see how we can work and help this group of young people who have designed a system to help the education system in Seychelles,” PS Lesperance said.
During the ceremony the guests were entertained with songs by the primary pupils and were after guided to witness a class demonstration on the use of the app.
Mavericks Pty Ltd is a software development start-up founded in 2017 to bring new digital solutions to facilitate public services and localise production of custom software on the market.