Pre-primary education has only recently become available in many southern countries. Therefore volunteers or untrained staff are deployed in almost every school and kindergarten. They lack of pedagogical skills that will promote the children’s development in an age-appropriate manner and impart knowledge in a playful way. But most educators are unable to access continuous professional development.
A comprehensive package for practicing early education educators was required, which
not only provides them with selective training, but also supports them in all their daily work in class. In order to counteract the low level of literacy among volunteering educators, pictures, audio sequences and videos were beneficial. Choosing a tablet for knowledge transfer was therefore an obvious choice, provided that it works offline and can be equipped with solar panels. The so-called "Early Learning Kiosk" contains a colorful array of theoretical and practical tools such as a course on early teaching or an app for continuous monitoring of child development. In addition, it supports them in improving the learning environment and working with parents and school committee, for example with a guide on transition and parental empowerment or an app how to build a playground with locally available material. All of the content has been developed and tested in southern Africa over the past ten years.
The Early Education Kiosk is the central component of the School Readiness Strategy of the Roger Federer Foundation which is implemented in six countries in southern Africa. By the end of 2020, the kiosk had been introduced in 3512 schools and kindergartens and was widely used. A survey in South Africa and Namibia has shown that 94% of pre-primary teachers and educators use the tablets at least twice a week. Over 50% even use the Early
Education Kiosk every day. The acceptance of the teaching content is above average. Over 94% of the registered teachers completed three quarters of the course. 95% of the teachers stated that they highly appreciated to complete the course in learning groups. 95% of the
teachers confirmed the usefulness or even great usefulness of development monitoring app.
All material on the "Early Learning Kiosk" is free open source and can be requested for use at the Roger Federer Foundation. The two main apps are accessible on google play, namely the course on early teaching ("KnowHow" app) and the continuous assessment on child development ("ChildSteps" app). The later needs an adaptation to the curriculum and formal templates in each countries.