BRIDGING THE DIGITAL SKILLS AND LITERACY GAP

Pakistan: promoting ‘active’ and ‘creative’ Learning

Since participating in the Jazz Smart Schools programme, Faria Iqbal has gained a whole new perspective on learning. What was once a “passive” experience has been transformed into something “active and creative”.

“Jazz Smart Schools has gifted us a new way to engage with our curriculum that contrasts with the typical textbook-based approach,” says the 10th grader. “It has created a great sense of interest and motivation among my classmates and I. And the videos, games and assessments have really helped us improve our [English] vocabulary and pronunciation.”

 

The programme has positively impacted learning outcomes of thousands of female students in our schools. Initiatives such as the Jazz Smart Schools Programme, and an increasing future emphasis on public-private partnerships will surely propel us toward a brighter future for Pakistan.

Syed Umair Javed
Director General, Federal Directorate of Education, Islamabad, Pakistan

Of a population of around 220 million* people, approximately 43% under 15 years old are not as fortunate as Faria. According to Pakistan’s 2018 Education Statistics Report, almost 23 million school-age children – including 12 million girls – are not in any form of education. For those who are being educated, basic numeracy and literacy skills often lag behind international benchmarks.

To help improve digital skills and literacy among female students, Jazz – VEON’s operating company in Pakistan, and the country’s largest mobile operator – launched the Jazz Smart Programme in 2017.

Using laptops supplied by Jazz and loaded with its learning management software, the programme deploys mobile technology to improve teaching quality and accountability with techniques such as app-based performance dashboards and web-portals to track results.

While providing a vital service to society, the initiative is also helping Jazz meet commercial and strategic goals. The operator is exploring expansion options with project partner Knowledge Platform (KP), with Jazz’s provision of tablets and connectivity to other schools likely to unleash new business opportunities. Moreover, integration by KP of the JazzCash payment facility into the learning platform’s online iteration is already delivering commercial benefits.

In total, since 2017, more than 38,000 female students, along with 1,046 female teachers, including school principals, across 75 public-sector schools in Islamabad have benefitted from the Jazz Smart Schools programme. Evaluation has shown significant improvements in learning outcomes, teaching quality, student engagement, technology users, accountability, and results monitoring.

Meanwhile, with its focus on educating girls, Jazz Smart Schools makes a notable contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5, which promote Quality Education and Gender Equality respectively.

With her renewed enthusiasm for learning and improved grades, Faria is testament to the programme’s success. “My heartiest gratitude goes to Jazz for this creative idea,” says the schoolgirl.