Smart Somo platform itself has attracted goodwill and support because of its innovative and tech-driven learning capabilities. The schools, parents and education stakeholders that we have so far interacted with, reiterated the fundamental gap that Smart Somo fills. We received interest from two schools around the project catchment area of Awendo , who heard about the platform from the Sub County Director of Education’s Office. Through word of mouth, Istiqama Academy in Mombasa has equally expressed interest in Smart Somo. The impact and potential of this project has enhanced our reputation and profile. What makes it stand out is its apparent low cost, Web/USSD Capabilities and ability to be adapted per school.
In the quarter, the platform developer took the 20 teachers through a refresher ToT approach on the usability of the platform. The teachers were taken through the teachers’ portal, child portal and parents portal, to be able to support parents and children should they experience any challenges using the platform. Secondly, the trained teachers were empowered to develop quality content for the platform, within their subject areas. The lessons are available on USSD and web for an array of users. A platform guide for teachers, children and parents was also developed to further increase capacity of its various users. The link to the resource is shared later in this document.
From the consultative community meeting of project stakeholders, it was evident that most parents, including teachers, were unaware of the specific roles that the various local administrators have within the line of child protection. The various officials, child protection officers and CHVs expounded on their various roles, and how those can be married with the different offices within the local communities. Contacts were exchanged between the local administrators and the parents. The schools too, have Community-based child referral network list pinned on the school noticeboard. The list has names, location, contacts of key personnel like CHVs, Sub County Education Officer, Sub County Child Protection Officers, Parent Representatives, Headteachers, School Designated Safeguarding Teachers. Updating of the list incase of transfers rests with each school Child Protection Committees.
The project team remains optimistic that the lessons and practices gathered from the project would support scale up,and replication in the region.