{ Building the future }

Roger Federer Foundation

Teach the teacher

One of the projects of the Roger Federer Foundation uses mobile technologies to offer software-based courses on didactics and education science to teachers in rural Zambia. Using this "teach the teacher" strategy a lot of teachers without formal training can be reached through software. Comerge is happy to contribute the software engineering of an important component from Zurich to this initiative!

Schools receive the video-based courses as apps on handhelds or memory sticks. Every course includes quizzes that the teachers take. The results of those quizzes make it possible to track progress and thus need to be transmitted back to the local and regional administrators. Comerge has developed the software for this (backend, API, offline-channel via SMS, and a Web App). 

The challenge

Data transfer in an offline world

The courses are brought to the schools as preinstalled apps on physical devices - the education of the teachers runs "offline". But how can you transfer the progress data of a teacher back into our online world to make it possible to react to potential problems? How can you use one handheld for teaching multiple teachers and still ensure that the quizz results stay confidential and are associated with the correct teacher? How can you find room for improvements of the courses? And how can you motivate teachers to stick with it and continue with the next module?

Although access to the Internet is not a given in rural Zambia, you can always find a GSM-capable mobile phone. Thus, the transfer of progress data is done via text messages.

Roger Federer Foundation: App bridges offline gap to Africa using SMS

Teachers send a code containing a user identifier, course identifier, and the result of the quizz to a phone number that is associated with our backend. Our software solution receives and processes the text message. A Web app makes it possible for the administrators to view and analyze this data and to encourage teachers again via the "offline"-channel of text messages to continue their education!

Roger Federer Foundation: Teach the teacher
Roger Federer Foundation: App to check teachers' progress
Roger Federer Foundation: An initiative with big effect