mJangale After School Program

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mJangale After School Program : Improving Education in Senegal

Thies, SenegalThies, Senegal
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

mJangale is an after school program that leverages mobile technology and custom-designed apps to improve the skills of girls in literacy, numeracy, and foreign languages. It also initiates girls to STEM (including programming). Jangale means "learning" in Wolof, one of the languages of Senegal

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if girls in Africa could learn STEM early and share their interest and enthusiasm with friends
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Reports indicate important problems in primary schools in Senegal. Explanatory reasons for low learning quality include low qualification of teachers, lack of teachers’ training, teachers’ absenteeism, lack of textbooks and large class size. In this context, pupils are missing individual attention, interactive activities, progress tracking, parents' involvement. Familiarity with technology (e.g., computers and coding) happens often too late.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

mJangale is an after school program that leverages mobile technology to improve the skills of children in literacy, numeracy, and foreign languages. It also initiates children to STEM (including programming). Activities target girls specifically. One of our offerings permit girls to design connecting clothing (bags and bracelets) in collaboration with tailors/designers (and mothers) and create 3d printed jewelry. mJangale involves parents (even illiterate) in the learning of their children and creates a network of trained and certified tutors on our pedagogy and curriculum. More than 250 children were trained in the mJangale programs in 3 cities of Senegal - Thies, Dakar and Ziguinchor.

Awards

Finalists of NoLimits for a Young World (http://bit.ly/1OXdnNd, France, 2015), Accelerator Tigo / Reach for Change (Senegal, 2015), Presentation at the mEducation Alliance Symposium (USA, 2015), Ashoka American Express Emerging Innovators (Dakar, 2015)
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Awa is a 2nd-grade pupil in Senegal. She loves to meet friends and play with dolls. Her parents care deeply about education. She struggles with reading and math.She’s interested in computers, but there isn’t one for her to use at school or at home. This issue is faced by many children in Senegal. That is why we created the mJangale after-school program. Awa uses a tablet to practice math, reading and English. She learns how to code with interactive activities and create connected objects supervised by a tutor. Her skills improved. She says English words. She loves to learn with technology. She is proud to wear the programmed bracelet she created. At home, she shares her experience with her siblings and cousins.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Pilots were completed in Senegal (Dakar, Thies and Ziguinchor) with 200+ pupils. They showed promising results in improving pupils' competency and motivating pupils. The 9-week pilot involved 21 pupils (15 girls and 6 boys, 6 to 13 years old in 2nd grade) of a public school of Thies. We administered a pre- and a post-test to the target group that showed that 53% pupils improved their results in literacy and 47% in numeracy. Overall 59% improved their skills – 67% of the girls and 41% of the boys. The coding (one hour of code) and connected objects (bracelets) intensive programs showed that girls were very motivated in these activities. These activities showed to be a good good gateway and introduction to physics and coding. They fostered interest. All the girls wanted to keep their bracelets to show to their friends!

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our goal is to reach 800 children by the end of 2016, 3000 in 5 years and 7000 in 10 years. We are developing more mobile apps (for the different levels in primary school) and are moving from Blackberry to Android. We are currently hosted in schools and are planning to have a space to host our different programs in Thies and be mobile in other regions. Our online presence is important and we will create an online coding platform focusing on Africa. We plan to replicate this program through certification of tutors in Senegal and abroad.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We are looking for our 2nd customer (after the ChildFund NGO). We obtained money from different competitions ($3000 FIRE AFRICA AWARD 2014, $2000 de Reach 4 Change/Tigo Accelerator 2015). Our business model is based on paying for the programs (parents and diaspora), certifying tutors, and the use of sponsoring and coupons in our apps (e.g., Uniliver). We want to train 800 by the end of 2016.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

mJangale is the only after school program leveraging technology in Senegal. Tostan NGO and RESAFAD (ministry)had mobile learning initiatives with SMS and feature phones that stopped and failed (respectively). Punctual initiatives involve teaching STEM and coding but they are not sustained. Our focus on girls with the connected clothing initiative is particularly innovative. It permits to have girls work with their mothers (or tailors / designers). It builds on the preponderant place of fashion in Africa and the use of technology to create wearables.
Team

Founding Story

The co-founders have known each others for several years from MobileSenegal http://mobilesenegal.org, a capacity building project in Senegal. They decided to create mJangale such that children are introduced to technology earlier in their studies - as users / consumers of apps but also as producers / contributors of code, objects etc.

Team

Babacar Diop, co-founder, Chief Operation Officer, full-time Dr. Christelle Scharff, co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, part-time Amdane Samb, co-founder, Web & Mobile Development, part-time Landry Ahouansou, co-founder, Web & Mobile Development, part-time Balla Diop Dieng, co-founder, Logistics Operation Officer, part-time Chun Hei Cheung, co-founder, Tester, part-time Our team will evolve and include more developers and education specialists. We are in the process of training tutors on our pedagogy and curriculum.
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