A Belgian start-up reinvents education in Kenyan schools

The recent political movements in Kenya are about to reshape the landscape in the country. But there are also some potential improvements in the educational sector thanks to Elewa, a startup co-founded two years ago by a Belgian and Kenyan social entrepreneur. Elewa has recently spent three intensive weeks in a small city northeast of Nairobi. There, they have achieved a new milestone after testing two of their products and receiving positive feedback from both local students and professors.

Jente Rosseel, Elewa’s cofounder states, “Teacher Pedagogical Guides were distributed among professors as an instrument to support and improve the teaching process in the classroom. Its focus is to present educators to a new teaching methodology that connects more with the students. The guides help teachers introduce new concepts and theories in the classroom from practical and familiar scenarios, rather than having the lessons stay on the conceptual and abstract level”.

On top of that, they also provided a tool that drastically decreases the time to correct tests for large-sized groups. “A computer and a webcam is all the teachers need to correct tests for a class of 40 to 80 students in less than 10 minutes. The system will process the results of each test and point the teachers to an exact area of concern” said Rosseel. The report points teachers to the concepts that should be reemphasized with the group. With less time needed to correct these tests, professors can perform these assessments more frequently and follow the progress of their students in a more finely grained manner. This is a true way of innovation for teaching/learning in a country where there are limited resources for schools and teachers are often poorly trained.

Elewa now has the ambition to validate this model with some more schools in the east African country, so they can fully launch in the market by January. There are other products developed by the company as part of their educational portfolio. Recently, they have received support from Belgian investors to continue with their developments and business expansion.

An idea supported from the VUB Social Entrepreneurship Platform

Along with five other social initiatives, Elewa is currently one of the projects on the VUB Social Entrepreneurship platform. Although they have already achieved their financial goal, this project will continue on the live on the platform to receive support from those willing to collaborate, as they wish to expand their network, have more visibility and receive advice from experts on their new products and developments.

The VUB social entrepreneurship platform is a free innovative tool available for social entrepreneurs anywhere, facilitating crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. The platform has been developed within the context of the VUB Chair for Social Entrepreneurship, held by Professor Nikolay Dentchev.

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