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ICT for Illiteracy Eradication Project (ICT4IE)

Overview

ICT4IE utilizes advanced ICT to convert formal learning content of illiteracy classes, provided by the General Authority for literacy and Adult Education (GALAE), into a simple, interactive computer-based tutorial that teaches basic reading and writing skills to illiterates. It is designed in a way that learning activities are embedded into familiar contexts of everyday life and are dramatized using sound and music effects. The e-content also places emphasis on progressive topics such as health, education, political rights, environment, and family care. Hence, trainees' retention and understanding are improved and their motivation and interest are maintained since more satisfaction is derived from the learning process. Actually, the project started in 2005 and continues to bring its outcomes. It mainly targets the urban rural areas and extends to include all society groups.

Goal and objectives

The main objectives of ICT4IE are to:

  •  Provide the curriculum required by the General Authority for literacy and Adult Education (GALAE) for illiteracy eradication on multimedia tools (CD-ROMs) and on the World Wide Web.
  •  Train instructors and trainers to utilize technology-based solutions in illiteracy eradication classes.
  •  Tailor new technology-based solutions for IE.
  •  Mobilize the community to utilize new technology-based solutions.
  •  Empower women by eradicating their illiteracy and mobilizing them to be proactive citizens.
  •  Stimulating trainees' learning process by transforming teaching and learning into an interactive engagement resulting in better critical thinking and problem solving skills;
  •  Providing an equitable high quality education to all learners which is a great challenge due to large numbers of illiterates in remote areas; 
  •  Reducing the learning period from 9 months in the classical illiteracy eradication program to 4.5 months in the ICT-based program, thus speeding up efforts towards an Egyptian knowledge-based society;
  •  Addressing the one-class, different learning-levels problem.

 

Pillars and Milestone of the project

Interactive Learning Curricula

ICT4IE has adopted a mixture of taught and self-study courses. ICT-TF established Training of Trainers programs in 15 governorates to serve growing demand for basic literacy training. Since the results of the evaluation phase were disseminated mid-2006, the CDs are being widely distributed nationwide. In short time, they become too attractive tool for many entities. Over 400 NGOs start to use them. By Dec. 2008, more than 5000 illiterates are being enrolled and over 2,812 has passed the GALAE exams.

Innovative Learning Tools “Tabluter”

ICT is used in an innovative way in the project. The stakeholders are looking for new uses for existing technologies as well as for new. This tool, the "Tabluter", is based on the traditional wooden table known in Egypt as the tablya. The tablya is a circular low dining table used with traditional floor seating and natives use it for eating and socialization. The tablutor is a customized ergonomic embedded computer on a tableya. The embedded computer is a single CPU that runs for four independent users. Each user is equipped with his/her own screen, keyboard, mouse and sound card. The Tabluter is situated in an individual home where IT classes and illiteracy eradication classes are being held.

The target group can easily interact with the project services suppliers from their homes, schools, libraries, telecenters and cybercafés by using either fixed connection such as (DSL, ISDN and Cables) or Wireless connection such as (WiFi and Satellites). The software application product was developed with the help of Harf - an outsourcing IT Company

Sustainability

The national importance of literacy program is proved through the agreement signed with GALAE that supports the continuity of the project activities as well as the sustainability of the CD implementation.

On the other hand, a plan is underway to develop a portal which provides distant learning opportunities using the ICT4IE materials. The localization for Arabic language for different Arab countries is easy and available. The portal on Kenanaonline is also providing developmental services such as consortium, meetings that bring concerned non-profit representatives, staff, and beneficiaries together to network around issues of interest. The key is to get people to apply their learning and actually document their results.

Furthermore, cost-effective Products helps the project's activity to retain factors of sustainability. As a government initiative, the emphasis on the business strategy is minimal. The CD set is distributed free of charge to education service providers. MCIT sponsors the training fees and the connectivity costs when no fund is available.
Moreover, the project's services transferability also assists to achieve the project's sustainability. The CD set is in formal Arabic and totally free. So any organization such as NGOs, IT clubs, training Centers, formal schools, or community learning centers can use the e-content developed in enhancing their educational methods. In addition, the CDs can be used individually at home to help eradicating the illiteracy of any Arabic-speaking citizen so that s/he can actively participate in the community development activities.

Beneficiaries

 

  • Different age group of society with special focus on girls and women.
  • NGOs

 

Results

ICT Tools Enabling for the Participants:
The IE kit was piloted and evaluated by the Social Research Center at AUC in two governorates; Fayoum and Kalyoubeya. The results demonstrated the popularity of this method among trainees since:
90% of participants passed the GALAE exam after finishing only the first CD compared to 40% using the traditional method,
retention rates and completion rates climbed when the ICT4IE was employed, due to the accelerated learning process (5 months compared to 10) and
The record of reported success stories showed a positive impact in their overall life activities.

Target Groups Empowerment:
One of the groups that are targeted in the ICT4IE project is rural women and women in deprived contexts. Women and men, due to social customs and societal traditions, women were still unreached since they are not allowed to leave home to attend illiteracy classes in the NGO or IT club in their governorate. To overcome such an obstacle, innovative solutions that recognize local norms were needed. So Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), in partnership with the ICT Trust Fund and local NGOs in the Siwa Oasis has implemented a local project to produce a new infrastructure to help in increase access to ICT for the local community. This way, the tabluter gives rural and remote communities, and particularly women, a unique chance to gain access to ICT from the comfort and privacy of their homes thus respecting community traditions which has been standing in the way to cross the digital divide and eradicate illiteracy.

Project's Impact on the Community:
To date, 25 rounds of trainer of trainers (ToTs) have been conducted and 250 trainers have been certified. The CDs have been distributed among 150 IT-Clubs and NGOs. One NGO in Minya governorate had succeeded to implement the CD set with 1200 illiterates, 900 of them passed the GALAE exams. In addition, a MOU with National council for childhood and motherhood (NCCM) was signed in order to eradicate the illiteracy of 300 Seeped-education children in 3 governorates:
Assuit ( 80 children completed their training on ICT4IE program; 90% of them successfully passed GALAE exams), Aswan (80 trainer enrolled) , and Sohag (currently, in the registration phase).