Wisenet and the Medical Benevolence Foundation team up to help nursing students get back to class
Wisenet introduces Moodle’s online Learning Management System to students in Kenya and Malawi to help them continue classes despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Medical Benevolence Foundation (MBF) has teamed up with Wisenet, an Adapt IT Holdings Limited division (Adapt IT), to implement the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) that ensures seamless continuation of education at various nursing schools in Kenya and Malawi amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The benefiting schools are owned by local churches in Kenya and Malawi that provide education to students with limited resources through scholarship programmes.
The first phase of the programme involved the following of eight schools across Kenya and Malawi:
- PCEA Tumutumu Nursing School
- PCEA Chogoria Hospital/Clive Irvine School of Nursing
- PCEA Kikuyu Hospital School of Nursing
- Presbyterian University of East Africa
- St Paul’s University
- Ekwendeni College of Nursing
- Nkhoma College of Nursing and Midwifery
- Mulanje Nursing School.
Together, these schools enrol 2 500 students and offer studies in nursing and midwifery. Phase two involves expanding the user-friendly Moodle eLearning platform to various other nursing schools in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Most of the schools are taking a hybrid approach for the Fall 2021 term, with some classes being administered in-person and others via the Moodle LMS,” said Lisa Alianiello, Director of the Centre for Global Nursing Development, who is leading the initiative for the MBF.
MBF’s donor partners are making Moodle available to the eight schools at no cost. School leaders and faculty have worked closely with the MBF team and Wisenet, which has deployed Moodle at the schools while providing technical support. Together, they have made the platform ready for students for the current term.
“We are very excited to work with MBF, especially during this challenging period. The pandemic has really highlighted the need for access to education, and we are proud to be part of this very worthy project. We look forward to welcoming new schools and learners to the platform,” says Ben Hamilton, CEO and co-founder of Wisenet.
To date, the schools have reported success with the new platform. Faculty can now create online and offline course content and customise their courses for students. The students can access training from any device and location with internet connectivity. Additionally, the platform will permit students to download course material for offline use, to participate in chats and track progress. Moodle is the first LMS platform used at the eight schools.
Given the uncertainty created by COVID-19, it is essential to have options like Moodle to help students continue their education. The pandemic has exacerbated the nursing shortage in these countries, and the schools are happy to see students return to class as well as have new students enrolling.
“It is a good platform that can assist students to engage with different clinical skills,” says Alice Kadango, Principal of Nkhoma College of Nursing and Midwifery in Malawi.
“We are even showcasing it to other Christian schools as one of our best practices.”
The three-way partnership between the schools, MBF and Wisenet is promising and creates exciting possibilities for the future. Wisenet brings specialised software expertise in deploying and managing Moodle.
MBF’s long partnership with the nursing schools and focus on sustainable nursing development makes the project an ideal opportunity for donor partners. Providing the Moodle platform is a tangible way to keep the schools running at capacity even with the need to close some in-person classes.
The issue of availability of devices and connectivity is the most significant remaining hurdle for the project, says Andy Mayo, CEO and President of MBF. ”We are beyond delighted for the schools in Kenya and Malawi to have access to the Moodle LMS. As part of our ongoing commitment to developing these schools, we are partnering to see how we can bring other parties to the table with the expertise to help address their device and connectivity needs as well.”
If you are interested in assisting schools such as these with access to online learning, please contact MBF at email@example.com.