Schools in Sumba Barat have been closed since March and students have stayed home during this time. With COVID-19 protocols in place, schools in 'green zones' will be reopening in the second week of September. There are plans for a rotating system for students to come to school, in order to avoid having a full class or school during the initial days after reopening. Schools are ensuring hand washing spots and cleaning routines for classrooms.
For the past month, the Waliku team has been gearing up for the reopening of schools by preparing various training materials, including video tutorials of the updated Waliku mobile and web application.
On 18th August, we commenced a five-day training webinar with IT operators and principals from 21 schools in Wanokaka and Waikabubak that were already using Waliku. They were first trained on child safeguarding and data security/ privacy protocols in order to better their understanding of safely interacting with children. Then, they were introduced to the main features of the updated Waliku mobile and web application. Lastly they were provided a half day orientation on first aid in schools.
Participants were enthusiastic about the new features of the apps and could not wait to start practicing their newly learned skills. They practiced the apps with each other as a means of preparing for the next level of training to teachers. We are truly heartened by the willingness of school administrators to learn and play an active role in adopting technology as a means of ensuring the well-being of children under their care.
The Waliku is truly a product co-created with its users. We have updated Waliku by taking user-stories and feedback gathered from schools and the district office and turning their problems into opportunities.
Teacher attendance is closely related to student motivation to come to school, and hence identified by school and district administrators as equally important to monitor. Given this need, an updated feature in Waliku is staff attendance.
Reports are organised by school requirements for daily, weekly, monthly and year-to-date recapitulations. Absence rates are displayed for the whole school, as well as for individual classes and students, so that schools can look at the summary view as well as deep dive to understand the data. Monthly reports are in a format that schools already use, and new metrics provide information on students who are chronically absent, and who have dropped out.
In Sumba, teachers are required to do a home visit if a child has been absent for three or more days. This often poses a challenge due to constraints of distance, time and resources. The updated Waliku provides teachers with an absence follow-up tool that they can easily administer, on the phone or in person. The tool collects the main reason and complaints of the child and based on it, prompts them to advice parents on ways of caring for their child. For example, when a child is absent due to a fever and cough, the app prompts the teacher to advice fever and cough management, and a clinic visit if needed.
Schools will start using the updated Waliku in this academic year, in September, once they reopen from COVID-19 closures.