Story published May, 2018
Imelda is a primary school student in Kenya. She lives with her mother Jane Wanjiku, who works hard to care for her daughter. Imelda loves learning. But Imelda was failing her classes because her mother could not afford textbooks and Imelda did not have enough opportunity for feedback from her teachers during class.
There are not enough teachers to adequately serve the needs of students, particularly in remote areas in Kenya, where the student-to-teacher ratios can reach 100 to 1. The challenge is greater for households living in poverty, as textbooks and other learning materials can be prohibitively expensive. As a result, almost half of Kenyan primary-age students are not enrolled in school.
To address some of these challenges, GP launched an investment initiative – Digital Study Materials – and Eneza Education was our first partner in that initiative. Eneza’s products act as a digital tutor to supplement the shortfall of teachers and study materials. Eneza puts educational content that mirrors national curriculums into the hands of every student across Africa.
Imelda’s teacher told her about Eneza’s service. Jane noticed Imelda was constantly borrowing her cell phone. Jane was concerned she was playing mobile games. “She told me she was studying,” Jane said. Imelda was using Eneza’s service to read digital study guides, take SMS-based tests and even send questions to a network of teachers who provided her with individualized feedback.
Today, Imelda accesses an average of 50 Eneza lessons daily during school days and three times that during the holidays. Her love of learning is so active that her mother was able to purchase her a separate mobile phone to support her learning. Imelda’s grades have improved dramatically. At her end of year exams, Imelda earned the highest score in her class. She is thinking about becoming an accountant or journalist when she grows up.
Imelda is one of more than a million students who use Eneza’s platform and Eneza users have experienced a 23 percent improvement in learning outcomes (as of 2018). Eneza began in Kenya and expanded to Ghana and Tanzania. Global Partnerships’ initiative and our partnership with Eneza are designed to improve youth graduation rates, literacy, cognitive skills, and ultimately, provide the opportunity for children to reach their potential. Just like Imelda.