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CHIZARAM UCHEAGA

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Our Mavis Talking Books & Mavis Education Model provide quality basic education to children in a language they understand.

Mavis Talking Books

Abuja, Nigeria
The Mavis Talking Book consists of a digital pen (Mavis Pen) and a specially printed book (Mavis Book). When the pen touches text or pictures in the book, it reads out the corresponding audio, including interactive games, quizzes, multi-language translations, etc. We have talking books for literacy, numeracy, health and other subjects – English with Phonics, Mathematics, Rhymes, Languages, etc
Introduction

Everyone Learning, Everywhere a Classroom!

Co-founder/Head, Corporate Strategy & Operations
“Technology and innovation must transform education in Africa and around the world as it has done in other industries (finance, etc.) if we are to see satisfactory advancements in the education sector”

Co-founder/Head, Corporate Strategy & Operations

What we do?

Using our Mavis Talking Books and Mavis Education Model we help children in unserved or underserved communities gain access to quality basic education, especially in literacy and numeracy, in a language that they understand.

Over 8,000 in-school and out-of-school children in Lagos State and the FCT territories of Nigeria have benefited from our innovation through literacy and numeracy programs funded by UK Aid and the US Embassy.

Test results show that out-of-school children using our Mavis Talking Books performed 37% better than those going to nearby public and private schools. A new program in the North East funded by the Borno State Government and in collaboration with local partners has started and intends to reach 10,000 children with our materials.

Why we do it?

When we began our business, we were selling a device to help children take notes in class and be able to play them back later. However, we kept hearing school directors say that parents were concerned that their children only spoke English and could not speak their local languages (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, etc.). This led us to develop the language learning series of our talking books.

As we attended conferences and seminars, we began to grasp the extent of the challenges with basic education in Nigeria – especially in public primary schools– and learned of the large number of out-of-school children.

The Federal Ministry of Education estimates that 50% of in-school children are not learning because they cannot read or write. Around 84% of children in the lowest economic quartile cannot read at all.

We also learned that Nigeria has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world, with recent estimates by UNICEF of over 13.2 million children not going to school. We felt that nobody was doing much about this.

This led us to developing the core education series of the Mavis talking books, starting with the Hausa-to-English book, which won the global 2017 British Council ELTons Award (English Language Teaching Innovations) in the local innovation category.

We have also developed English with phonics books for Grades 1 – 4, mathematics for Grades 1 – 4, rhymes books and more to help improve literacy and numeracy skills of children (and adult learners too).

We have won numerous awards since then, including from United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Vivatech in France, and BusinessDay.

Our Goal

To scale our interventions to provide quality basic education to millions of children (in-school and out-of-school) in Nigeria and across Africa through strategic partnerships and support from development partners, donors and governments.

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Innovation Overview
3 - 17
Age Group
18 520
Children/Users
1
Country
2007
Established
For-profit
Organisation
331
Views
Tips for implementation
Stakeholder engagements Training of teachers and state or local government education officials Baseline tests Deployment of the Mavis Talking Books and Solar Kits Regular monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) Midline and End Line Tests Sharing results & working towards scaleup
Contact information
CHIZARAM UCHEAGA
Media

See this innovation in action

NIGERIA: Digital innovation offering new learning opportunities
Mavis Talking Books Africa News Interview
In Nigeria, talking pens are helping thousands of children learn

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Stakeholder Engagements
Meet the community leaders to inform them of the planned education intervention and seek their buy-in/support (especially for out-of-school programs).
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02
School Verification & Selection
For in-school interventions. The team goes out to verify the school location, number of pupils in each class, etc.
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03
Training of teachers and education officials
To get them (teachers) to understand how to facilitate learning with the Mavis Talking Books in the classroom and to supervise (education officials) the program.
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04
Conducting Assessments
To determine the knowledge level of the children prior to the Mavis Talking Books intervention, we conduct Baseline to End Line Tests.
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05
Deployment of the Mavis Talking Books
Provision of the Mavis Talking Books for literacy and numeracy for use by the in-school or out-of-school children.
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06
Deployment of the Solar & Inverter Kits
For charging the Mavis Pens. The solar kits are usually small, portable, plug-and-play.
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