Developed mobile app hopes to curb school dropouts
A Namibia University of Science (NUST) lecturer has developed a prototype mobile platform for counselling primary school learners, focusing on curbing high school dropout rates in the Donkerbos Village, Omaheke Region.
The mobile counselling platform was developed based on information gathered from stories of successful San youth who had previously dropped out of school and current issues identified by the primary school learners, app developer and lecturer, Rosetha Kays said Tuesday.
The San people, also known as the ‘Bushmen’, are members of various indigenous hunter-gatherer groups that are the first nations of Southern Africa.
“An evaluation of the effectiveness of the application was done after the learners were involved in the project. This was done using psychological tools and resources to weigh their level of resilience,” Kays elaborated.
Kays said the assessment revealed a positive change in the learners’ understanding of others’ feelings, awareness of self, self-esteem, coping with stress, demonstrating empathy to others, and knowing who to consult when in need of assistance.
“I now know where to go for help when I have a problem,” one student eagerly shared while others explained that they try to resolve problems by talking about them openly.
Kay’s research, titled, “Developing technology to strengthen resilience in San children to reduce school dropouts”, explored current technologies being used to provide counselling services to San children facing social hardships.
“Online counselling on the web or mobile platforms already exist, however many of the services are generic, thus this study is context-specific,” she concluded.