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Reaching Children & Students in Remote Locations

Solutions & ideas for helping access children with limited resources.

During this educational shift from school to home, how are we addressing the needs of students in remote locations with little to no access to connectivity? From providing educational content through Whatsapp, Facebook messenger to accessing online content offline, these innovative ideas are helping children and families connect with teachers and lessons in other ways than online.

Covid-19 solutions


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Quality Education for all during Covid-19





April 2020

About the innovation

Examples of solutions for reaching students with limited access to the internet

The examples below, are some of the ways that people around the world are answering the question: how do we help children and students in remote locations? This is a challenge faced by many around the world. We are continually looking for innovative offline solutions to cater to the needs of all children regardless of their resources. If you know of a solution that is working well in your context, please let us know! 

Providing free educational resources via smartphone to students in 10 African countries via offline access

Kiwix, in partnership with Orange Telecom is providing zero-rated (free data) access to copies of Wikipedia, the Wiktionary, the Gutenberg library or Khan Academy to 10 countries in the Middle-East and Africa (MEA) region. Orange customers will be able to access these resources for free from their cellphones in order to facilitate learning from home. Because the Kiwix servers are located in the region rather than Europe or the US, access is also much faster.



Offline, text-based, SMS Teaching

Teaching from a community that has no access to internet can make home schooling very hard during this global pandemic, this means our children are not learning during the period. Therefore, we would want to continue teaching our children using SMS.

Teach for Uganda,  have collected phone numbers of parents, and we have briefed them on what we want to do with their phone numbers. We have also encouraged them to allow their children to have access to their phones at least for an hour a day from 2-3 PM starting. 

"We know it's going to be a challenge due to fact that some of them can't read or use phones well, we shall do it anyway."

The idea is to send a chat base question for students to answer to them and the teacher provides corrections and possible suggestions to the question or answers in case a student fails to get it right, in realtime. This means a lesson can be conducted over a chatroom.

Reaching the disconnected 

Kolibri is an ecosystem of interacting products, and at its core is the Kolibri Learning Platform, where students and educators login and directly use digital materials to support learning and teaching. Kolibri has always been free to download and use immediately. While there is a multitude of online courses that are currently being shared to support learning, including ones that are in the Kolibri Content Library. 

Content can be downloaded once to a device in an area that has an internet connection. That "seeded" device can then share new content and updates with other devices over an offline local network. To reach the most remote communities, a device can be carried by foot to share installers, updates, and content with other devices over local networks.

Kolibri makes high-quality education technology available in low-resource communities such as rural schools, refugee camps, orphanages, non-formal school systems, and prison systems.

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No Internet, WiFi, or Mobile Data Required

Ustad Mobile Deliver interactive learning content on Java-enabled feature phones, Android smartphones and tablets, and laptops and desktops running Windows and Linux.

They are a robust open source mobile learning app that supports almost any device: smartphones, $30+ candybar phones, tablets and PCs. Create interactive learning content that works both online and offline with quizzes, text, images, audio, and video. Distribute content offline between devices with peer-to-peer sharing. Track usage time, learner progress and attendance. It's about the learning, not the device.

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Whatsapp Group "Teaching Without Internet"

WhatsApp groups for educators around the world who are struggling with teaching when schools are closed and students don't have access to the internet. These are open to all and running in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Open access to picture storybooks in the languages of Africa

African Storybook is for children’s literacy, enjoyment, and imagination, providing open access to picture storybooks in the languages of Africa. You can find individual storybooks of themed storybook collections to read with your children, which can be downloaded to read offline or to print. You can also make a new picture storybook, translate a story, adapt a story for a different reading level and build your own storybook collection.

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Developed by DM9 James SyFu in partnership with Smart, the Smart TxtBks democratizes access to content by converting old SIM cards into ‘textbooks’ which students can access, even offline, using even feature phones.

With the use of even analog technology, students gain access to e-books, are more engaged and are freed from the burden of carrying heavy school books.

Smart TxtBks won for the Philippines its first ever Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the highest honor given by what is considered in the industry as the Oscars of advertising.

Smart TxtBks is ideal for delivering ‘bite-size’ (160 characters) learning content that can be stored in the phone’s SIM cards and retrieved as messages. 

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Together we learn, together we succeed.

M-Shule delivers personalized quality learning through SMS to guide every learner to achieve,  involving the whole learning community in accelerating a child’s progress - from student to parent to teacher to school. Students learn from lessons and activities at home with parents through messaging. M-Shule tracks and analyses student progress. The school then receives analytics, insights, and recommendations through web and SMS, helping to improve student performance.

Together we learn, together we succeed.


Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

The ideas and solutions in this section are finding innovative and creative ways to use what is accessible to the parents and students in their context. Knowing the resources available and sharing resources that will simplify the lives of parents is of utmost importance. We continue to look for ways to bring education solutions to students offline.

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