Kenya’s Angaza Elimu using tech to transform classroom experiences

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Kenyan startup Angaza Elimu is attempting to transform education by addressing the problems of inefficient classrooms and inadequate educational material.

Founded in December 2016, Angaza Elimu has developed a platform that combines a comprehensive e-learning platform with a simple classroom setup to ease the administrative burden on teachers and free them to spend more time teaching substantive material.

Schools utilising Angaza Elimu receive a computer with its preinstalled e-learning software and a projector to allow the teacher to share material with the classroom. Multimedia content is used to reinforce the learning process and make it fun, with the solution strengthening, rather than replacing, the student-teacher relationship.

Chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Kiko Muuo said he was inspired to launch Angaza Elimu by his personal experiences growing up in rural eastern Kenya.

“When I attended primary public school, my classmates and I depended completely on the teachers, as they were the sole owners of textbooks and other learning resources. I subsequently only first interacted with computers in secondary school, where I faced a steep learning curve,” he said.

Learning about computers quickly turned into a passion for Muuo, and led to him pursuing a career in telecommunications engineering. But he kept thinking about his early education, and noticed a large rural-urban gap still existed in terms of access to technology and basic computer training in schools. Thus, Angaza Elimu was born, but it is different to other ed-tech platforms.

“Other e-learning platforms majorly focus on the student leaving the teacher. It’s very evident that for any technology to be a success the teacher must be involved as the key implementor,” Muuo said.

This remains the case with Angaza Elimu, while the startup also seeks to overcome internet connectivity issues in rural areas.

“One major benefit to working with our platform is that it does not depend on internet connectivity – teaching and learning can be conducted in remote areas,” said Muuo.

The startup, which has received angel and grant funding, has already secured a partnership with the Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA), an umbrella organisation for more than 7,000 schools, and is currently trialling its solution with five private institutions.

“Our projection is to onboard eight schools each term,” Muuo said.

“We will then open our doors for public schools next year. We also have the intention of going beyond Kenya’s borders, and aim to be in at least four more countries in Sub-Saharan Africa within the next four years.”

Angaza Elimu works directly with schools on a B2B model, offering a bundled hardware package and software as a service (SaaS).

“We also have a B2C model for private users on our interactive online platform. We launched our products in May and have realised more than US$14,000 in revenue from more than 300 active users,” said Muuo.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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