“Education is the fundamental building block for the advancement of individuals & societies along with mutual respect and fairness. Innovative solutions that address education inequities and barriers (quality content, qualified teachers, access, affordability), and creates means towards dignified livelihoods & fair standards-of-living all over the world”
Eneza Education, is a Kenya-based EdTech innovation that provides ample evidence of highly creative and scalable solutions being built in all corners of the world, and by the bright minds who are right in the midst of the challenge, rather than waiting for more resource-endowed world to come and solve the problem for them. Eneza began its journey nearly seven years ago in Kenya, and is now being led on a solid growth trajectory (already serving kids and parents in three countries with more than 10m learners leveraging the platform) by its current dynamic CEO Wambura Kimunyu. It is embarking on an inspiring mission of enabling one of the most fundamental rights of every kid – an affordable, accessible and quality education – and that too in its home continent with some of the most challenging infrastructure (very low income levels, very few areas with decent schools, a large portion of population in difficult to reach remote villages, and very high teacher-to-student ratio (commonly 1:65 in rural settings) making meaningful teacher-student interaction nearly impossible, and lack of basic resources (such as even enough textbooks). However, often, human ingenuity comes out with most innovative solutions in the face of the most daunting challenges. Eneza has shown that an innovative model leveraging the simplest of the technology (e.g., basic digitization of the text-book content) and tools (just 2G wireless phones) can produce the best answer. An answer that as shown ample evidence of its efficacy with very compelling metrics: 10 million+ learners across three countries (Kenya, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire) and 8 million+ questions answered, and double-digit improvement in academic performance.
Interview with Eneza Education CEO- Wambura
Description and Compelling Attributes
Eneza attacks all the key barriers by first converting all academic textbooks (from grade four through secondary education) into digitized academic content and then breaking them into highly structured bite-sized micro-modules, which are then delivered over the wireless networks of the local telecom service provider to the end-users with very basic 2G phones with just text messaging capabilities. This approach overcomes all the key barriers – lack of consistent Internet connections, lack of latest (3G / 4G / 5G) phones which are unaffordable for a big swath of rural residents, lack of textbooks for kids to read or revise (after they return from school), COVID-amplified disruptions of school closures for extended period (and hence unavailability of school facilities and books and teachers), and low literacy rate of their parents. And all that at very attractive affordability, with almost zero friction in terms of payment processes. Eneza’s innovative use of mobile-minutes for payments bypasses the need to invest in its own payment infrastructure while almost eliminating the default risks of its subscribers while making the whole sign-up process very easy given the familiarity with the wireless phones and mobile minutes across the continent. With very wireless penetration across the entire continent (in excess of 90%), Eneza solution is accessible & affordable to every kid no matter where they are.
With a centralized cloud-based technology infrastructure that combines one-time investment with almost limitless scale and delivery, along with a super-efficient subscription & collection system, very affordable price points (almost few pennies per student per day) supports attractive profitability and growth.
Further, besides addressing the known barriers, Eneza solution drives a fundamental learning behavior change – students develop a structured learning habit by completing daily content revisions and questions that engages them in the interactive and digital world they live in. Further, the platform is designed to support two-way interactions so that the students are able to complete in-the-context questions and receive feedback and scores by the their teachers who can be anywhere and do that in their own time asynchronously.
Lastly the rich analytics the platform gathers provide immense opportunities for machine-learning driven enhancements and insights into learners’ progress and behaviors that teachers, schools, administrators can put to variety of enhanced educational outcomes.
Eneza model is built with elements (cloud infrastructure, telecom networks, wireless phones) that are already there in the target populations of Africa continent and dozens of countries across Asia, South & Central America. Its innovative digitization model, content delivery and end-user engagement and supporting best-practices are easy to replicate and adapt for local geographies and populations.
It works across all academic subjects and languages, as well as for grade levels from primary to secondary education.
Best practices for subscription pricing and packaging, payments and collections, and engaging with ecosystem of teachers and parents and schools are well established, making it easy to replicate in new markets. Further, the capital requirements can be calibrated to enable measured growth (e.g., select grade levels and subjects).
With homegrown innovative EdTech platforms like Eneza Education, world at-large now offers a realistic chance for every kid to have access to affordable and quality education experience, putting us closer to the dream of widespread education equity. While education, being a such a basic human need, has myriad of challenges, innovations like Eneza offers a chance to surmount those challenges in spite of the handicap of resources and past legacy.
We invite ALL who are education-cause-focused entrepreneurs and entities (private, public, NGOs) looking to transform the education and learning landscape in their towns and countries. We invite ALL content experts and providers to bring their content to benefit masses and targets ALL over the world not just in their neighborhoods.