Ubongo’s online platform to help home learning after school closure

25Mar 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Ubongo’s online platform to help home learning after school closure

AN online edutainment company, Ubongo has said it will bridge the gap created by the closure of schools and colleges due to coronavirus outbreak through its Ubongo Toolkit. 

Children aged between 4- 10 years assemble toys during an early childhood development conference dubbed ‘Building Brains’ which was hosted Ubongo in Dar es Salaam earlier this month. File photo.

Ubongo which is Africa’s leading producer of kids’ edutainment and creators of Ubongo Kids and Akili and Me series, said in a statement the it is taking and sharing reliable, preventative measures and supporting caregivers and kids to learn at home during school closures.

According to UNESCO monitoring, the number of young learners affected by the coronavirus is rapidly growing, reaching an unprecedented 1.2 billion children across 102 countries as of March 20th.

“We are working hard as partners in the education sector to rapidly respond to this situation in the best way we can, and that is through dissemination of content that will promote safe measures and practices at home. We officially launched our Ubongo Toolkits platform this month and we are working to populate it with even more content and guidance for caregivers to use at home to support learning for kids,” said Ubongo’s Chief Product Officer, Christina Bwana.

Bwana said Ubongo Toolkits also offers a full library of free edu-content for kids and caregivers, covering a wide stream of topics in local context, soon to be adapted in even more African languages. Parents, teachers, caregivers and kids are encouraged to make use of this online platform along with television and radio where full episodes of Ubongo shows will continue to air.

“We are offering our library of TV and radio edutainment content for free to any broadcasters and partners who can share it with communities in need, as well as public service announcements and educational videos to support health and hygiene. These are the steps that we as Ubongo have committed to take at this time,” she added.

Ubongo Toolkits is a large library of quality, African-made early learning materials and educational resources for kids aged 0 - 14 and caregivers, covering various topics from early numeracy, pre-literacy, and social and emotional skills to engineering, science, and technology. The learning materials are currently available in Kiswahili and English, and also in production on versions in Kinyarwanda, Hausa, Kikuyu, Luo, and Chichewa. The toolkits serve as teaching aids for the purpose of improving the quality of instruction with play-based visual and audio learning.

“We are also working on mapping our content and other learning resources such as e-books, apps and worksheets against the education curriculums from pre-primary to grade 7 in African countries where schools have been closed,” the Ubong CPO noted.

In the long-term, Ubongo plans to create even more health-related content that will support public awareness and practices around hygiene and infectious disease prevention.