Blessing is an 18-year old girl from a village in Kaduna State. She left Kaduna to work for a family as a housekeeper in order to raise money to further her education. Blessing could barely read and could only write a little and she had dreams of writing WAEC (West African School Leaving Examinations).
For three months, blessing interacted with the Mavis Talking Books™ as her hosts were still trying to enroll her in school. This was not possible because she was not qualified for the class she hoped to start from. Instead of staying idle at home, she was encouraged to continue her learning with the Mavis Talking Books.
Gradually, Blessing’s speaking improved and so did her writing. Her hosts often wondered whether she was learning anything, as she never seemed too keen on putting in the effort required to go through school.
Exactly three months later, in casual banter, Blessing boldly declared that she could tell “Ladi’s Story” in the English with Phonics Book 1. Disbelievingly, her host turned to the page and was wide-eyed as she told the story word for word in English and then in Hausa. This meant that she could read it, write it, and even internalized it enough to say it in her mother tongue (Hausa).
Blessing’s story is just one in the thousands of impacts the Mavis Talking Book solution has made in the education sector.
Mavis Computel Limited (www.maviseducation.com) is an educational technology company based in Abuja, Nigeria. The company recently registered an NGO called Raising Lives Today Foundation (http://raisinglives.org/) which will focus on closing the education gap between girls and boys in rural and peri-urban communities in Nigeria and eventually across Africa. The organization runs projects and programs for both boys and girls and recently started designing Girl-Centered programs.
The Mavis Talking Books™ and Mavis Education Model™ are largely designed to solve the challenge of providing quality basic education for girls between ages 5-17 no matter their location or economic status. This demographic has been selected because they are the ones often neglected in most program designs.
Also, as a result of security challenges, some of these young girls are abducted or raped on their way to school – hence the urgent need for this intervention. Socio-cultural issues also do not permit some of our young girls to go to school. As a result, our intervention brings the school to them – thereby providing a safe space to get quality learning with their peers. That way, anyone can learn and everywhere can be turned into a classroom.
To establish its stance in favour of designing programs specifically for the girl child, data from previous deployments of the Mavis Education Model show that the test scores of both girls and boys are almost at par in both literacy and numeracy. This means that if given the opportunity, girls can do as well and even out-perform boys in school.