Kenyan school plugs the COVID-19 learning gap with Avaya Spaces

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As over 17 million students across Kenya face a third month of being locked out of classrooms, the country’s leading schools are turning to video collaboration technologies from Avaya Holdings Corp to ensure that their students can continue learning.  

Following the launch of the Avaya Spaces video collaboration app in Kenya – with the solution offered to educational institutions and non-profits free of charge – Avaya has helped a number of Kenyan schools build virtual classrooms that students and teachers can access from anywhere, enabling learners to continue with their curriculums.

Waldorf Woodlands, a family of not-for-profit kindergarten and primary schools in Kenya, is one of the schools using Avaya Spaces to plug the prolonged educational gap that was set to impact its students’ ability to complete the academic calendar. Waldorf Woodlands follows the Steiner/Waldorf Curriculum, incorporating artistic work with a developmentally appropriate, experimental, and academically rigorous approach to education. As teachers integrate the arts in all academic disciplines for children from pre-kindergarten through seventh grade to enhance and enrich learning, Avaya Spaces enables them to provide an immersive virtual learning experience.

With two campuses in Nairobi, Waldorf Woodlands is using the cloud-based app, which integrates chat, voice, video, online meetings, content sharing and more, to continue delivering structured learning to its students through interactive virtual classes.

“We have created an online environment to ensure children experience their education with the same spirit of commitment, enthusiasm and engagement – while still staying safe. For the children, continuity and a sense of normalcy are crucial, so a structured routine is key. Here at Waldorf Woodlands, we are using Avaya Spaces as our communication and learning tool to support the learning and connection with our students,” said Faith Wambua, school coordinator at Waldorf Woodlands Schools.

“We have students spread out across Nairobi, and now teachers are able to disseminate knowledge despite their different locations with ease. Once a student is logged in, they remain connected for the entire day,” Wambua  added. “Teachers can also assign tasks to individual students or groups of students and follow up directly within Spaces. It is actually helping to strengthen the relationship of our students and teachers during this global pandemic period.”

The school is also using Avaya Spaces to host virtual open days for prospective students, hosting guided video tours of the campuses and their facilities, which can be easily tuned into by parents from any location. Avaya Spaces also provides an easy way for parents to keep in touch with school administrators and teachers on the progress of their children’s education.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary for us to adapt to a new way in which we deliver the Waldorf Education to our children. Avaya Spaces has enabled that for us and helped us to continue delivering classes. With it, we are looking forward to a successful term ahead,” said Wambua.

Avaya Spaces changes the way work gets done. It helps organisations bring together distributed teams instantly with immersive, 24-7 collaboration. And seamless integration makes it easy to use the cloud solutions organisations already have.

Brett Butler, sales engineering director – Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Avaya, said the company is proud to support educational institutions like Waldorf Woodlands as they continue to enrich student experiences in spite of challenging conditions. “The continued delivery of education during these unprecedented times is one of the largest challenges facing authorities across the world, and Avaya Spaces is helping address that challenge for many institutions in Kenya. We are certain that the app will continue to provide value once physical classes reopen,” Butler said.

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