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This August 5, 2016 photo shows children in class displaying laptops: New technology has enhanced learning particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenya

Tizi Games to help improve math performance for primary school students during Covid 19 pandemic

NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 19 – Tizi Games, a mobile educational games start-up in Kenya has designed a collection of math games, to help students improve on the subject in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown that poses a challenge to physical learning.

Tizi Games is a new platform of interactive & educational games that give kids a fun way of understanding the most important concepts taught in the standard Kenyan Curriculum.

The two newest math games on Tizi are called Explosive math and Tuhesabu Bano targeting students from the ages of six to ten.

In Explosive Math, students from class one to class four must save the world from crashing meteors by answering math questions. The game helps the students to easily revise their math based on the approved CBC curriculum.

Tizi Games mirror the new CBC curriculum as it encourages imagination, creativity, and critical thinking among children.

Meanwhile, Tuhesabu Bano (Swahili slang word meaning to count balls), is based on the classic “Banos” schoolyard game that many of the parents grew up with. It is a game cutting across the ages and is a math game meant to jog one’s mind in a more fun and interactive manner.

Tizi’s interactive games create opportunities for problem-solving and reinforcing the cognitive abilities of the student.

“We work together to make learning fun. These math games enhance what your children learn in school and act as revision for the week’s schoolwork, “says Maria Wangechi, Community Manager for Tizi Games.

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The games are accessible and paid on a mobile web-based platform, www.Tizi.Games and therefore any parent with a smartphone can subscribe on behalf of their children at just 10 Bob per week.

Ms Wangechi also points out that the COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenging time for parents to provide tuition for their children, especially at home. Tizi Games, therefore, becomes a Virtual Tuition Assistant for parents at home especially now that there is a lockdown.

“Most parents like me are all wondering how best to keep our children entertained and educated during this COVID-19 pandemic. Tizi Games acts as assistant personal teacher for your child. She helps with fun edutainment games for your children especially for challenging subjects like math.

The need for Tizi Games now is shown by the 2019 KCPE examination results. KNEC said the number of candidates who scored 400 marks and above dropped by 15.4 percent, pulled down by poor performance in science and mathematics. Boys beat girls in Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies while the girls emerged tops in English, Kiswahili, and Kenya Sign Language.

At the same time, major learning gaps have emerged in Kenya during the shutdown of schools due to the pandemic, less than two months to the start of KCPE 2021.

Tizi Games are therefore designed to be fun and entertaining as they help educate the pupils during these uncertain times. Each week, each child is presented with a collection of fun games, tailored to specifically match their grade level and what the CBC curriculum has defined that they should be learning in school that week:

“We have designed the words, maths, and science lessons taught through each game directly support and reinforce what the students have been taught in class that week. Each game supports the classroom teacher’s efforts by dynamically pulling in content to match the individual student’s grade level and classroom lessons based on what week of the year it is. In this way, studying and improving class scores need no longer be a chore, but something fun that children enjoy playing.” adds Mr. David Hoare, CTO and a 20-year classroom teaching veteran himself.

The games help with sensory integration which is critical in the implementation of the CBC curriculum. This new approach puts a strong emphasis on the importance of science, technology, and innovation. The games build hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, and fast reflexes.

UN SDGs have positioned education (SDG 4) at the heart of the post-2015 global development agenda. “Games for Learning” propose highly attractive and immersive solutions. Encouraged by numerous studies and research supporting the pedagogical benefits of play, educators are now using digital games to teach mathematics, science, humanities, and social-emotional skills.

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