Rafbonee STEM Child Care Academy is an award-winning school in Abuja, Nigeria, committed to providing world-class educational standards at an affordable rate. By ensuring children have solid foundations in science, technology, engineering and maths students are prepared to succeed in the future. Since the school opened in 2014, it has experienced astronomical growth and now welcomes over 200 students aged between five and nine years, supported by 52 staff.
Mamu Alhaji Muhammad, Chairman, Rafbonee STEM Child Care Academy explains: “We first came across Whizz Education at the GESS conference in Dubai in 2020, just weeks before COVID hit and schools closed. We’d looked at various technology solutions to help support our teaching of maths. However, we chose to work with Whizz Education and its award-winning virtual tutor Maths-Whizz because of the user-friendly nature of the platform, which is especially designed for children, adapting to their individual pace of learning plus the extended support and resources the company provide.
“The team at Whizz Education has been great to work with. Jean-Francois Lucas worked closely with us – albeit remotely due to the lockdowns – so we could get up and running with the entire programme despite the COVID challenges.”
Jean-Francois Lucas, Managing Director International schools at Whizz Education explains: “Initially and understandably there were challenges with planning, training and implementing the Maths-Whizz solution during the height of the pandemic. The school was closed during the lockdowns and with international travel prevented, all training and support provided was necessarily remote. However, the commitment and dedication of the teaching staff prevailed and given the economic pressures experienced in Nigeria where the currency suffered a significant devaluation which led to rioting and civil unrest, the resulting achievements by students, supported by the school’s dedicated staff have been all the more remarkable.
“Rafbonee STEM Care was named as one of Whizz Education’s 14 distinguished schools for 2021. Distinguished schools demonstrate outstanding progress and accelerated learning in maths, where students have passed a minimum of three progressions each week over the course of the academic year. Students achieve progressions through quality learning time spent using the virtual Maths-Whizz tutor. Progress is tracked in real-time and learning gains quantified by an increase in Maths Age (Whizz Education’s Maths Age is like the better-known ‘Reading Age’; it measures your child’s maths’ ability against the level we’d expect of an average student of their age). Where consistent improvement has been shown across a group of students, the school is awarded distinguished school status.”
Mr Adebisi Rasaq Ayobami, Superintendent Rafbonee STEM Child Care Academy explains: “Online learning suddenly became even more important during the pandemic. We wanted to ensure COVID was not a barrier to learning and Whizz Education has helped us achieve this for the benefit of our students. Initially our pupils used the virtual tutor at home, then when students returned to school, we incorporated regular access into our timetable and a wider roll-out. As a result, in contrast to many students around the world experiencing learning loss during the pandemic, our pupils were able to make continued learning gains.”
Graph Showing the Increase in Average Maths Age for students at Rafbonee STEM Child Care Academy between 15 February 2021 to 31 October 2021 Despite the Covid Challenges
Mr Ayo continues: “Maths can naturally be a subject which some children (and many adults!) find challenging, but the virtual tutor is engaging, encouraging and rewarding. It makes maths interesting and fun! Children are motivated by their success to work through the lessons which Maths-Whizz automatically adapts to their ability. Rewards offered through medals and certificates mean we can decorate students who perform well and because achievement is based on progress rather than ability everyone can benefit. We teach maths every day at Rafbonee and for us, Maths-Whizz has really started to help children achieve results.
“Whizz Education arranged several remote training sessions to ensure we get the most out of the system. The support from the Whizz team has been incredible. If we need any help, our day-to-day contact and education success partner Aileen Madayag, is always ready to help. Nothing is ever too much trouble.”
“The platform itself is designed in a user-friendly way and the information presented is crystal clear, making it is easy to see data on results and topics. Children’s strengths and weaknesses are identified, and we can advise a child if they should use the Topic Focus function to work more on a particular area of maths. It means every child can make good progress.”
“Maths-Whizz is also particularly useful to check ahead on topics. So, for example if we know next week we will teach fractions, we can use the Topic Focus function to introduce children to the subject beforehand. Our feedback from teachers has been very positive: the solution really helps them embed understanding and knowledge.”
Mamu Alhaji Muhammad confirms. “The programme provides an excellent teacher resource and has enabled us to increase the level of maths competency among our pupils. For us, working with Whizz Education has encouraged our students to develop a real curiosity and interest in maths, free from any maths anxiety. This is essential for us as a school where STEM education is our priority. For our parents, it has allowed them and us to monitor progress of children, so we are easily able to assess critical success factors. In the background, we are supported by the team at Whizz Education who are completely invested in our students’ success, and we have developed a true partnership for the benefit of improved educational outcomes at our school.
“We are honoured to now be named as one of Whizz Education’s distinguished schools.”