Kenya’s education system does not adequately prepare students for the working world. Schools are more focused on rote learning rather than critical thinking, and national examination scores determine whether or not students progress to the next level.
The introduction of the free primary education by the government in 2003 brought with it a sigh of relief for many parents. But it also came with some unintended consequences. For instance, gross school enrolment in primary schools shot up, peaking at about 105% between 2014 – 2016. This increase in demand resulted in pressure on school facilities and a deeply constrained workforce. The teacher-student ratio in public primary schools shot up to 1.40, sometimes 1.50 or even 60. This denies many students the personalized attention needed to excel in national examinations.
Furthermore, niche subjects required to be globally competitive are not mandatory in the national curriculum. For instance, to interact with Francophone Africa, Kenyans need to be able to speak French, but French is only taught in less than 120 schools in Nairobi, which are either private schools or international schools with high tuition fees or public high schools with low acceptance rates.
Elimisha aims to solve this problem through their online platform that connects high-caliber tutors with students in need of individualized academic attention.
Elimisha is a platform designed to improve student academic performance by matching students with professional tutors for personalized academic attention and providing curated content and tests delivered through a mobile phone. This approach focuses on understanding the needs of the learner and using that information to find the best possible tutor for the learner's needs.
Through this, Elimisha creates jobs and opportunities for the thousands of professional teachers who graduate but don't yet have formal employment. They also help students and schools improve their performance and grades through personalized coaching that helps unlock the potential of each child.
How Elimisha Works
On the demand side, a parent creates an account and browses tutors based on the subject of interest and location. A student/parent can see a brief summary of available tutors, place a request choosing a time slot and other important information. A request is then sent to the tutor.
On the supply side, a tutor creates a profile, uploads copies of their certification documents, and fills in details regarding their experience, subject, and availability. The tutor receives requests that match their specialty, location, and availability and accepts those that they would like to take up.
On confirmation, the parent pays through the platform. All communication between tutor and parent happens through the application. The parent can rate the experience with the tutor and write reviews which can be seen by the public.
“Our approach focuses on infusing technology with the human element. We use technology to deliver content, assessment tests and progress reports as well as to connect students with tutors for personalized face-to-face interaction. We believe this model enhances the potential for impact, especially for students who are already struggling with certain concepts” Says Zachary Mbuthia, Co-founder, and CFO Elimisha Tutors
The tutor-learner interaction is at at the center of Elimisha offering; they only use technology to make the process easier and smoother. There is a lot of value in in-person coaching for students seeking to improve their grades or learn niche skills.
The next phase of their technology development is focused on providing curated content, assessment tests and progress reports via mobile phones. In addition, they are embedding Artificial Intelligence to make their service more affordable across social segments and also for effective tutor-student matching.
Elimisha is one of the Startups in Traction Camp cohort two. Traction Campis iHub's accelerator program that connects startups across the region with the knowledge, capital, and market they need to grow their business.
To learn more about the startup and how you can sign up as a tutor or get a tutor for your kid, visit their website www.elimishatutors.co.ke. You can also follow them on twitter @elimish_tutors