Tech, coding, apps, software… until about a year or two ago, these terms used to seem like a load of hogwash- indecipherable, unknowable, unreasonable. Until I realised the enormity of influence embedded in those words and its power to change lives.
On #ImpactThursday Kago Kachigiri of Eneza Education has a very huge goal,the magnitude of which blows my mind. It’s a combination of low-tech and education. How does this collaboration work though? Read on!
Can you ‘make’ children smarter with the use of mobile phones? I mean, isn’t everyone complaining about how much more time these children spend with mobile devices and how much less time they spend actually studying educational materials?
They were, until Kago Kagichiri and Toni Maraviglia teamed up in Kenya to make 50 million kids in rural Africa smarter with the simple but strategic combination of high quality educational content, evaluation and feedback via simple mobile technology (SMS/WAP/Android) and the web.
Eneza Education is looking to make kids in rural Africa smarter by offering a virtual tutor and teacher’s assistant that works on a simple low-cost mobile phone. Students read lessons, take adaptive quizzes, view mobile report cards and ask live teachers questions. Teachers get reports on their students, assign them exercises, and receive tips on classroom management. Eneza encourages collaborative education by connecting parents, students and teachers with real-time feedback.
Students can access locally-aligned tutorials, tips, and assessments, as well as a leaderboard, Wikipedia text and live teacher chat through USSD/SMS, an online web app, an offline desktop app, and an Android app. Individual parents, students or teachers can buy a subscription to our courses for a low weekly or monthly fee.
Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Eneza Education, Kago Kagichiri taught himself to code at the age of seven. A graduate of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, he was inspired to start Eneza education when his teenage brother who had Cerebral Palsy died from a sudden in other to provide mobile education to under-served kids, who unlike his brother, could learn in school but didn’t have resources or teachers. Subsequently, he became interested in creating SMS applications for new markets that have no access to the internet/computers.
Kago is also the founder of MiliQi Networks which provides services spanning from SMS, J2ME, feature phone web, Android and Web applications. He is also credited with creating the first online Kenyan portal in .NET framework that allowed Dyer & Blair to sell millions of ‘reserved’ shares before the IPO date.
Co-founder, Toni Maraviglia also co-founded an educational organization in rural Nyanza, Kenya called WISERBridge and has over ten years of experience in teaching and managing teachers.
Founded in 2011, Eneza Education has reached over 460,000 unique users across over 8,000 schools in Kenya and their clients have included UNICEF and LitWorld. They have plans to go global with offshoots first in Tanzania, and then Ghana.
Eneza Education works in partnership with the Kenyan Primary School Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA), guarantees that all their content and technology is original and created locally, and is approved by the regulating curriculum authority.
Making 50 million children in Africa smarter? That is a very tall order by any means, but the Eneza crew seems more than happy to tackle the challenge by providing access to high-quality educational content through the simplest of means.
Have you got a dream that seems so huge it might be unattainable? First off, write it down, then take the tiniest little step towards achieving the easiest part of it. You will be amazed at what follows.
© 2016, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.