Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Jazz has recently launched a smart school project. Clarity.pk tried to dig down and see how well developed this program is and does it really deliver on the promise it claims. What is Jazz Smart School Concept? The Jazz Smart School Programme is a Sustainable initiative under the Jazz Foundation in collaboration with Knowledge Platform (a Singapore based organization), the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) and the Capital Administration & Development Division (CA&DD). For those not in the know, Jazz has been working in the education sector for a very long time. This is their latest initiative which closely mirrors their digital agenda of introducing innovative products and services. In a nutshell, the concept revolves around bringing in technology to the classrooms to increase student learning outcomes and improve teaching methodology by a smart learning solution deployed through a digital online blended learning platform. The programme is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and Pakistan’s Vision 2025 under the ‘Prime Minister’s Education Reform Program’. How does it work? To being with, the curriculum needs to be digitized and this was done by Knowledge Platform (KP). Both urdu and english curriculum has been fully digitized for this purpose. Digitization solves the core issue. Currently, this content is digitized for 9th and 10th classes only. KP keeps exclusive copyrights of this content. The blended learning solution uses technology to strengthen the teacher by allowing them to use preloaded digital content, activities and assessments in class. Teachers can use the content to fill in gaps in their knowledge or to help structure their class, and build on the content with their own knowledge as they want, which can help increase student learning outcomes. The solution includes hardware kit, in-class and online content, practice and assessments and learning technologies – performance results are integrated across environments; all content is available online and offline. What problem does it solve? It reduces burden on teacher for creating daily lessons, quizzes, exams and other activities on papers or on computer themselves. This saves them lot of time that they can consume on teaching the subject as the solution focuses on developing key skills for a particular grade and level. Another benefit is immediate report of student performance that otherwise takes weeks for teachers to check and respond. This helps teachers a great deal as they get to know where their students stand in real time and where do they need to put in more effort. Since content is digital, it makes it more interactive and fun. There are many games to keep students engaged and learn things the fun way. Further, each topic is easily accessible to students to refer to rather than going through journals and notes. The results are computed through the cloud platform at the backend and can be accessed by relevant stakeholders (education bureaucracy, principals, parents) through the use of mobile applications. Focused teacher trainings can be organized based on the teachers’ struggling areas. In addition, all content is available online and offline which means that once it is downloaded on a system (computer, tablet, phone), it can run easily without an active internet connection. Students can access the lessons after school which can also reduce the need of expensive private tuitions. Where is project launched? The two year pilot programme began in October 2017 across 75 female public sector schools in Islamabad. It impacts over 15000 female students and 500 female teachers/principals. Our experience with the App We requested the team to grant us the access to the app to see how well developed it is. Starting with a user friendly signup, supporting Login with FB and Google, the app opens up the gates of knowledge for students to embrace themselves with subjects they always wanted to get a good grip on. Scope of subjects cover 9th and 10th grade curriculum but you can also find 11th and 12th grade Science Practicals in Physics, Chemistry, & Biology. In general following subjects are included, Physics, Chemistry Mathematics Biology & English Among countless lessons in each subject for each grade, there are video and textual information, making the whole learning process easier to adapt. For students to reap benefits from this valuable app, they can enroll in any subject and start watching videos in English or Urdu and do their self assessment by going through a curated set of questions on that topic. Apart from learning, students can compete and earn badges at the same time to get the feeling of achievement. In addition to Mobile App, the web version of the app is also available, making the digital inclusion in education space a reality. The web version is as amazing as mobile version, There are several things that we have not covered in the app, but we can safely say that its novel and aesthetically smooth user experience will enable the students in any nooks and corners of Pakistan, where access to knowledge and schooling is absent, to get standard education. Where is the challenge? We see challenge in scaling this initiative up in government and private schools across the country. This requires lots of advocacy to disseminate results of the two year pilot across all communication mediums. It is important to have ownership from teachers, principals, education planners and decision makers that this initiative provides them with key data and information where resources need to be spent which can translate into a sustained impact We see it as starting point for Knowledge Platform (KP) to initiate it with government schools through funds provided by Jazz. Nonetheless, this is an initiative worth appreciating.