The teaching assistant for primary school pupils in Kenya

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In a bid to help Kenyan children improve on their academic work, Safaricom and Eneza Education launched an SMS based learning application called Shupavu 291 for primary students.

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The platform offers a personalized experience by providing real-time course level progress, interactive lessons and assessments, all via the simplest of mobile phones. It is a teacher’s guide called ‘Mwalimoo’ (mwalimu), who is represented by the animation of a cow in glasses and a suit to provide a fun learning experience for pupils.

“We believe in the power of the mobile phone in extending access to learners so they can realize their full potential. The additional investment will go a long way in enabling us reach more learners in countries where we already operate in, and in expanding to more countries,” said Kago Kagichiri, CEO, Eneza Education.
The company was co-founded four years ago by Kago Kagichiri and Toni Maraviglia, who believed in the opportunity that Kenya’s expanding mobile ecosystem could provide for children who needed reliable exam revision tools.

Today, Eneza has more than 1.1m learners across 11 countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Benin and Iraq. During the period, 90m messages have been sent on the Shupavu 291 platform, with more than 14 million questions completed by learners
Users can access locally-designed tutorials, as well as chat live with a teacher either through a live teacher chat through either USSD or SMS, an online web app, an offline desktop app, or an Android app.

Eneza has also created interactive content to cover the local curriculum in several countries. In Kenya, learners have access to all subjects from Class 4 to Form 4 in the 8-4-4 curriculum, with courses designed to also cater for learners who have dropped out of school but would like to keep learning.

To join, one needs a basic mobile phone (no internet required) and you can register by dialing *291# or by sending the word START to 20851

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