How Ghana’s eCampus puts the classroom in the palm of your hand

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Ghanaian startup eCampus claims to “puts the classroom in your palm”, providing a mobile and web application that gives learners 24/7 access to teaching notes, podcasts, video lessons, audiobooks, tests and a topic-based discussion forum. 

eCampus is designed to provide in-depth analysis and intelligence to learners to make them better prepared to take examinations, while a point-earning system aims to monitor, evaluate, and motivate learners. 

The platform also provides intelligence for teachers or learning facilitators, helping them to know the strengths and weaknesses of students, and allowing them to provide tailored teaching to the specific needs of every student or learner. 

The history of eCampus goes all the way back to 2003, when it started product sales and distribution using floppy diskettes. 

“In 2005, we transitioned to using HTML and PHP in a server client environment, where we went to schools and uploaded the software on their servers,” Cecil Senna Nutakor, CEO of eCampus, told Disrupt Africa.

“In 2009, we went online, and then in 2014, we moved to the cloud. In 2015, the eCampus web and mobile application was created.”

Fast forward to 2022, and the company is looking at expanding into Anglophone East and Southern Africa, as well as Francophone Africa. Nutakor says uptake has been “gradual”.

“People are steadily adapting to online learning. Pre-pandemic, uptake was very slow because people were still skeptical about the effectiveness of online learning.  Schools were reluctant to invest in infrastructure to enable online learning and even the Ghanaian education service was a bit reluctant,” he said.

“But during the pandemic, uptake was very high, and it has remained on that wavelength post-pandemic. We now have over 50,000 users, with more than half being active users.”

Nutakor birthed the idea for eCampus idea as a result of his own harsh experience. 

“I failed my final secondary school exams three times in a row, and all those times I wanted to find a tool I could use to prepare me and let me know if I was ready for the exams. I did not want to believe I was dumb as my parent and uncles thought, because I knew there was just a problem with the system,” he said.

These types of problems remain to this day, though eCampus is now trying to tackle them.

“The report cards students receive in school after examinations are not detailed enough to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Nutakor. “This is where eCampus comes in. We provide an AI-enabled assessment of the student’s performance based on topics or subjects they are strong in to guide their career path and future learning curve.”

The startup also wants to provide the various stakeholders in the educational journey – learners, teachers, administrators, and global organisations – with smart intelligence to make decisions as  to the number of students who are ready for examinations, in order to reduce the failure rate and  help improve learning outcomes.

eCampus has raised capital from family and friends, as well as angel investors, and is releasing version 4.0 of its web application this year. It has launched content for health sector education in Ghana, and now has its sights set on other markets.

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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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