*134# USSD code is now on to help in students self-assessment using mobile phones

Upon the closure of schools on 15 March 2020 as a strategy to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, Rwanda Education Board (REB) has been coming up with different measures and strategies to support student learning at home. In that regard, beyond REB elearning platform (https://elearning.reb.rw/), REB YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCSm2s9wZC8B611SIslsUWg), Radio and TV learning programmes (published on weekly basis on REB Twitter Account @REBRwanda) , REB has now launched an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code*134# meant for self-assessment.

In effect, mobile phones have had a swift and pervasive uptake in the last few years. That is justified by the increasing numbers of mobile phone users. According to the last EICV (2018), 74% of household in Rwanda have mobile phones. Hence, considering the fact in Rwandan context mobile phones are enabling new forms of service delivery across many sectors of the society, it was important to think about how they can benefit learning and more importantly revision and self-assessment patterns.

The designed USSD code operates on any type of phone which does not bring restrictions to those who have not yet acquired smart phones. With the support of Tele-communication companies operating in Rwanda (MTN and Airtel) its usage -during the lock down period-remains free of charge just the way it is for the use of REB elearning platform. Once logged in, the user simply follows the instructions (level of study eg. upper primary, select the class eg. Primary 5, select the exam/test eg. Math-P5 then get started). The application gives feedback in terms of score obtained and if the candidates did not do well the application advise him/her to revise properly his/her lesson.

With the fact that young people are early adopters to any means of technology, it is hoped that this form of learning and self-assessment will constitute an added value to the continued search of answers to learning from home. It is expected of the parents and guardians to lend phones to their children and help them to use them properly for the educational meant purposes.


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