Children throughout developing countries, including Zambia, experience difficulties with mathematics. Teachers mostly educate using traditional ‘chalk and talk’ methods and, in order to keep up with the fairly inflexible syllabus, they need to teach at a relentless pace. In Zambia class sizes are large with an estimated average teacher:pupil ratio of 49:1 in primary schools and 56:1 at lower secondary level. This compared to 29:1 and 21:1 in lower/middle income countries. However in some schools in the South Luangwa area it is not unusual to see over 80, and even occasionally 100 pupils in one class!
A child who misses a day or two of school may miss learning about a particular topic entirely. Some pupils can manage but many can be left behind and struggle to keep up. With large classes, too few teachers and cramped classrooms, there is little room in the system for additional support. This is where Edulution comes in.
Edulution is an e-learning system focused on mathematics, and facilitated by coaches rather than the teachers at school. Coaching sessions are linked to a school but take place outside core lesson time, in one of our four learning centres.
Pupils can work at their own pace and become proficient in each topic before passing onto the next stage.
At the centre of operations is the central 'hub' or administrative office in Lusaka managing, monitoring and evaluating the individual centres across Zambia.
The coaches do not work alone. The team in Lusaka are available to offer educational and technical advice ensuring effective delivery of the program. They provide project management, comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and reporting, technical support, selection and training of coaches, ongoing research & development, course design, communications with partners and clients and a raft of operational and administrative tasks. With advanced reporting systems they are able to monitor precisely the progress of each of our students and coaches.
At the heart of each geographical location is the local 'hub' or coach house with an experienced Silver Star Coach managing their team of Bronze Star Coaches and their trainee assistants.
Each coach, with help from a trainee assistant, runs a centre with 300 pupils, split into groups of 30, who attend a 3 hour session once a week - 30 pupils in the morning and 30 in the afternoon, 5 days a week. Although often attached to a school, the sessions take place outside classroom hours and may be held anywhere; in a classroom, in a church or enjoying the beautiful outdoors!