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Better Minds Education

Building an equitable pipeline for developing human capital in rural Africa through a one-stop-shop for accessible digital learning services

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Tell us about your idea

Better Minds Education is tackling the problems of low learning outcomes and lack of access to effective learning resources in rural communities in Kenya. Our model reaches student in 2 main ways: 1. Through after-school, weekend and holiday classes held at our community based Digital Learning Center, and 2. Through digitally enhanced lessons held at schools and implemented together with our partner teachers.

By employing low cost tablets and freely available online learning materials, we are providing access to students who otherwise would be unable to benefit from learning technology due to barriers in affordability, proximity, and availability of devices, internet, and knowledge of the resources available. Our on-site tutors support student learning and help them overcome any barriers they face as they rapidly improve in core literacy and numeracy through our self-paced personalized learning program.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Rote-learning, 1 size fits all lessons, lack of differentiation to students needs, lack of resources and training for teachers to implement more effective learning models, a focus on high stakes summative testing over formative and competency based learning. These are all current features of the school systems in many developing countries, where overburdened and undertrained teachers are faced with the insurmountable task of teaching large classrooms filled with students at many different levels of preparation, without the resources they need to succeed. We need solutions that are able to treat students as individuals, understanding the current level of learning, and tailor lessons to support their individual development. These solutions exist and have been rapidly expanding in the developed world, but they are largely absent from classrooms in rural Africa due to significant barriers in cost, existing infrastructure and training.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I'm a social entrepreneur with over 8 years of experience building high impact programs to support the livelihoods of communities in rural East Africa. I believe that education is the key to unlocking students potential and opening up pathways to brighter futures that include their self-actualization and development of skills to compete in the modern workforce, and that too few students from poor rural communities have access to this type of education.

What region are you located in?

  • Eastern Africa

Where are you located?

Kakamega County is one of the largest rural counties in Kenya, with over 1 million residents, most of them hardworking smallholder farmers. With a huge population of young students and limited resources, families are forced to make difficult decisions about how to spend their limited resources, and have very few good options available to them when it comes to ensuring a quality education for their children.

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