Elewa was founded by two individuals that had grown very frustrated by the inefficiency and wastage in the Kenyan education sector. Whereas up to 90% of children enrol in primary school, only 2% of them get to enrol into university. This is mainly because of the system of education is exam oriented and it forces students to focus on preparing to pass exams at the expense of actual learning. The deficiency in learning can be seen in the competence levels across professions and the socio-economic problems the country faces.
The Elewa founders dug deep, researching and using their experience in the education sector to truly understand the genesis and depth of the problems. The main challenges in the sector is the inequality in distribution of resources and well trained teachers across all schools in the country. This is a major problem because all students, irrespective of school, are tested using the same national standardised test and they compete for higher education places on the basis of these exams. Students from better schools are therefore always better prepared and get to advance, leaving hundreds of thousands with great potential to drop out or gain education that’s beneath their potential.
Elewa was registered as a company in 2015 and in its first attempt to solve these challenges, it created a tool that simplified the process of exam revision, giving a level playing field for all irrespective of school and also creating more time for actual learning. A year of having the product in the market taught the Elewa founders an important lesson – if real transformation had to be achieved, a lot more had to be done. The revision tool was simply not sufficient.
This led the company to conduct an in-depth research into what the sector really needs and it did this by speaking to teachers and other education stakeholders across the country. The results from the research pointed out the main problem areas: Teacher capacity and skills, classroom delivery challenges, assessment and reporting, student attitude and parental involvement. A technology assisted or technology based solution was also determined to be best.
The challenge for the company was to develop a way to overcome these problems in a simple, easy to implement way that could be monetized. The company has therefore developed innovative way to deliver educational content, pedagogical assistance for teachers, effective and time saving assessments, detailed impactful student reports, training for teachers and school stakeholders and an online platform for self-directed learning.