Most teaching / learning models in Cameroon are outdated and slow to embrace the learn through play mindset that students seem to prefer.
Create a collaborative e-learning platform that promotes learning through games with monetary prizes making learning fun and attractive!
This is the total amount allocated to Mentalyse: Learn through fun
This proposal is about education; education in a much broader sense than we sometimes talk about at Wada. We will incorporate blockchain components such as d****igital token, micro-payments and decenralized identity solution (DID) into the platform, meaning the technology behind the scenes will be on Cardano and also in the prize money, which will be distributed in stable coins or Ada (based on our market research). However one of our great priorities at Wada is preserving indigenous culture, and through this proposal our educational focus is also going to center around African heritage (specific to Cameroon as applicable).
In recent years, the relationship between educators and students in Cameroon has suffered a great deal. Students exposure to colonial languages (English and French) combined with a multitude of local languages (200+ languages in Cameroon) has brought about a new melange of languages called "ARGO" which is basically a mix. This has been a huge hurdle for communication and knowledge dispersion in general. However it is something we should be encouraging in our youth. It has become almost a new dialect/slang. This language barrier is one of the 5 areas where we would like to focus our education efforts.
In addition to this, we see more and more youth getting into gaming--from sports betting to online gaming. In a sense, the gaming world has taken over in families as well as in schools, but educators for the most part seem unwilling to upgrade their teaching practices to integrate more fun, which pushes youth away from their studies to waste their down time in meaningless gambling and gaming. Mentalyse is here to provide an outlet for youth to play, but make the games educational as well as profitable.
Interestingly, our ancestors were acutely aware of the power of learning trough games and used this approach extensively in educating youth. I myself realized the power of this approach a few years ago when I came across a video
from Simon Peyton Jon, one of the creators of Haskell that summarizes this concept. Here kids are asked to solve a complex sorting exercise in computer science, yet they are able to have fun and actually get to a solution through tackling the problem as a game. Six years ago Andre started a paper version (Magazine) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rfsJe4pPS-dnuZny-b2-WQkeGzgwjG2-/view?usp=sharing of our idea that concluded with the creation of a weekly magazine containing exercises grouped in 5 module each addressing a specific aspect of the problem. For a while the prototype magazine was distributed to primary and middle school students. The feedback was great. The missing peace was handling micropayment transactions (triggered when buy a weekly magazine) and the solution we considered was working with Mobile Money Operators (MTN, Orange and Nexttel) but that turned out to be more expensive. We now have the chance through Cardano scalability solutions.
Our solution is to bring an off-chain solution (that has already been developed) on chain and more specifically to Cardano! Our learning approach and model has been centered around 5 challenge categories that each have their own area of focus. The main strategy is to embrace the mental learning model of students (learn though fun) and adapt to modern learning tools (games, inter-schools collaboration and competitions). We intend to organize competitions at the national level between schools so that we can extend the individual aspect of our bi-weekly magazine to groups and schools. All of this at a very small fee for participants (digital coin). We also intend to build a donation module to open the door to community members that are very aware of these issues but lack a platform to address them.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia55clAtdMs
Our proposal is a great tool for educators, parents and even the government to embrace positive aspects of modernity while promoting culture and leveraging the interest kids already have in games. We are offering young students an alternative to sport gambling plus adding the bonus of learning their culture. This makes our platform and approach a nation wide instrument to solve this issue.
Our solution will incorporate DID to handle identities within the platform. We will create a digital token pegged to the value of the local fiat currency to handle massive micro-payments we anticipate within the platform. These two aspects address the national potential for such an application, as it has a huge potential to reach across the nation to solve some key issues we face here in Cameroon.
The main risk that we've identified is having low levels of interest in the content of the game as they are more educational than sport-like. One way we will mitigate this risk by incorporating competitions ( individual to individual, group vs group and inter-schools) with prizes bringing in the economic motivation aspect that sport betting has.
As mentioned above, Andre has already started to circulate the game as a bi-weekly magazine that has been distributed to kids in schools for a price of XAF 150 (about $0.25). The students are given some time (generally 3 days) to resolve the problems and then submit their answers. A correction is posted and then there is a meeting to wrap up the challenge. Attached is an example of one issue of this magazine.
Each magazine includes challenges from the following 5 categories:
Youth in Cameroon have developed a slang known as "ARGO" (a mix of French, English and local languages). The main goal of this game is to sensitize them to the equivalent of their ARGO in one language (French for example). This game leads young people to distinguish between the language used in a familiar context and the language used in an educational learning setting. It is the creativity of the students that fuels the game and the various rewards granted ensure the sustainability of this game.
2. Games (crosswords/word-search/fill in the blank etc.) "I learn by playing"
This concept presents a set of words, and you must solve a certain word puzzle correctly in order to fill in a grid, complete a text, which then corresponds to a bigger text such as a poem or even a notice. The words chosen are not taken at random but respond to a specific theme on a specific topic. This game not only allows young people to improve their vocabulary but also to be informed about the news or the selected themes.
For example, in the example issue there was a message from the Minister of Secondary Education to youth, they had to fill in some of the more formal/technical words and then completed the message. Surprisingly, there is not a lot of access to this kind of information other than this game (apart from actually visiting the secondary education web site, or sometimes posts are circulated through social media which excludes many and can seem untrustworthy). The letters that remain after completing the message from the Minister and a poem are used to summarize the message of the Minister of Secondary Education to parents of students.
3. Word problems "Test your logic"
The logic that students (or even many adults in Cameroon, for that matter) use on a daily basis is not always rational. The school uses logic based on abstraction and reflection: we therefore speak of intellectual, intelligent, and rational logic. There is no module that effectively teaches logic to students. Our goal through this game is to allow students to have a rational logic that will influence their academic performance and contact with their environment.
4. Articles highlighting role-models "My model"
The objective of this game is to promote bilingualism and to identify information about a model person.
5. Visual game "Find the differences"
This game allows young people to develop their visual intelligence, with the aim of making young people able to make the decisions they need according to the contexts in which they will find themselves.
Our end goal through this proposal is to:
Timeline (18 months to project completion)
Budget Total: $39,000
Andre: Educator and project supervisor, Creator of Mentalyse magazine (attached sample)
Cameroon Wada Hub Trainers & Coordination:
Manfo: Cameroon Team Co-Lead, Senior software architect & developer, 12+ year of experience programming, 3+ years in functional programming paradigm (F#, Haskell, Elm), Multilingual (French, English, Italian, Ngiembo)
Nkalla: Senior software architect & developer, 12+ year of experience programming, 3+ years in functional programming paradigm (Haskell), Mathematics teacher (Education Systems Engineering), Multilingual (French, Italian, English, Mbo)
Arcel: Senior Software developer in Closure 7 + years experience, Project manager, Multilingual (French, English, Medumba)
Megan: Wada Cameroon Hub Co-Lead, Central Africa Coordination Lead, Wada core team member (Education and Event Lead), Math & Physics teacher, bilingual (French & English)
Wada network: Wada is a resource sharing network connecting people all over Africa and the Diaspora to IT, human, and financial resources to make dreams come true. This will be led in person through our Cameroon hub but will also leverage our network of Wada Hubs to bring our solution to students from other countries as well.
Wada devs & marketing team
We will measure progress against our timeline as described above. For each phase we will have the following measurable progress indicators:
Our roadmap is fairly clear in that we have specific measures of success after each phase. In addition Success will look like within the first month of deployment:
This is a brand new proposal.
Wada Cameroon Hub:
Andre Belle: Creator of Mentalyse Magazine