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Instant Class for Emergencies

Instant Class for Emergencies provides access to learning content for schools in Kenya using an off-grid, ruggedized projector and a tablet.

Photo of Kim Kimosop

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What problem does your innovation solve?

It is crucial to provide education from the OUTSET of every humanitarian response. Not to do so is to deny affected children crucial survival skills, a sense of hope and the capacity to be productive citizens once the emergency is over. As stakeholders in the welfare of the future generation, it is our task to provide alternative, viable solutions to this problem not only through funding but also by developing resilient and easy to deploy education models for children affected by crises.

Explain your innovation.

At Instant Class for Emergencies, we are re-imagining the classroom as it were but with simple, affordable, and easy to deploy technology. 1 Tab 1 Student model is ideal but needs extensive resources, connection to the power grid and internet as well as well good infrastructure for storage; all these aren’t available during emergencies. Instant Class for Emergencies has approached provision of education during crises from the ‘classroom’ perspective instead of providing a tab for each student. Instead we have a projector for the students and a tablet pre-loaded with content for the teacher. This makes it 10x cheaper than the 1 Tab 1 Student model, reduces deployment time since only the teacher or volunteers are trained to use the kit, and does not rely on constant connection to the grid because it has pre-loaded content plus a solar panel for charging. The Kit consists of the following: 1xMini-Projector + Tripod Stand 1xTablet-7” with pre-loaded content 1xSolar Panel 1xProjector screen + Tripod Stand 40 Workbooks for students 40 Pencils for students The kit is targeted at a class of 40 students. The teacher is able to broadcast the content from the tablet via WIFI onto the projector which then projects it into the projector screen. The tablet and the projector are encrypted so as to protect the devices from theft; one cannot work without the other. It works in off-grid areas since it comes with a solar panel.

Who benefits?

This product targets lower school going kids (6-13 years) from emergency affected and remote areas. In Kenya girls are more likely to drop out of school during crisis due to the need to trek many miles to get schools to attend. This is a global trend and girls suffer more during emergencies, it is therefore correct to say that the girl child is bound to benefit more when this innovation is adopted. In Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps we have 23,013 school going children. These children need access to learning material as fast as possible so as to better their future lives. We aim to reach 15 schools approximately 4000 students by within Kenya by mid-2019.

How is your innovation unique?

Instant Class for Emergencies delivers a unique approach to education during crisis because it is designed for quick and affordable deployment. Funding for education during crisis is usually a problem since there are other issues such as healthcare, food and shelter that are seen to need more immediate attention. With this in mind our product provides a cheaper alternative that will allow each class in a school of up to 400 students to be supplied with the tablet, a projector, workbooks, and pens for a cost equivalent to supplying one class of 40 students in 1tablet 1student model. The high luminosity of ensures that it can work outside. This approach has been tried before by UNICEF in Uganda. It didn't catch up due to design problems and they didn’t quite focus on the target niche, it was being used as public address system too. The design problems emanated from the kit being made of devices sourced from different suppliers hence there was no adequate support when it came to repair

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

Right now we have not developed/conceptualized a concrete business model though we look to partner with first responders to be able to provide the kit for them to use during times of emergencies.

Tell us more about you.

We are a team of 3 friends who truly believe in this product. Sharon Nasimiyu – Currently Instant Network Schools Vodafone Kenya Coordinator (attached to Safaricom Kenya Corporate Affairs Division). Kimosop Chepkoit – Radio Design Engineer currently working at Safaricom Limited, Kenya. Kimosop is the guy behind the idea. Shaka Juma – Currently Firmware/Hardware Lead Design Engineer at BBOX Rwanda. Juma is tasked with writing firmware and circuit board design for the kit

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Natural disaster
  • Armed conflict
  • Prolonged displacement

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

This product is suitable for all kind of emergencies especially prolonged conflicts and natural disasters that lead to displacement of persons. Rural/remote regions where textbooks and content is not available will also benefit from this kit since it will provide them with materials for learning.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

We are targeting displaced persons in refugee camps especially in Kakuma and Daadab and internally displaced persons who are regularly displaced due to cattle rustling, clan wars, and natural disasters such as floods. We will also target pastoral communities who give moving from one point to the other and lack proper infrastructure and educational content. In Kenya we already have digital content readily available, it only needs to be customized to suit the mode of delivery.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

One of the team members Sharon Nasimiyu has good experience when it comes to education related innovations for marginalized areas. She is currently working as Vodafone Instant Class coordinator for Kenya as well as Innovation in Education officer for Safaricom corporate affairs team. We do not have any official partnerships apart from assurance from BRCK that they will help us by providing technical know-how on building of the prototype.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

The innovation will be implemented by a team of three campus friends. All of us are engineers but have taken diverse careers. Juma works as a Hardware/ Firmware engineer for one of the most vibrant African Startups in pay-per-use solar kit known as BBOX in Rwanda, Sharon works as a Innovation in Education expert for Safaricom Corporate Affairs team as well as the Vodafone Instant Classroom coordinator in Kenya, and Kimosop works as a Radio Frequency Planning and Optimization Engineer.

Innovation Maturity

  • Early Stage Innovation: I am exploring my innovation, refining, researching, and gathering inspiration.

Organization Status

  • We are not registered but plan to in the future.

Organization Location

Based in Nairobi, Kenya



How has your Idea changed based on feedback?

After gathering all these feedback we came back and brainstormed as a team. After considering all possible solutions to the questions raised and also maintaining the core objective of the Instant Class Mini- Projector which is simplicity and speed of deployment, we added the following changes: 1. A tablet for the teacher 2. Solar panel to provide free and clean power for charging the kit. 3. 40 exercise/writing books and 40 pencils for the students per kit.

Who will implement this Idea?

Right now we do not have partnerships however BRCK has agreed to support us on design since they already have the know-how on hardware development and integration of components such as processors, batteries and circuit boards. Two staff, Juma Shaka and Kimosop Chepkoit will work full time on the development of the prototype and Sharon Nasimiyu will join upon completion of the prototype so as to enable us scale given her experience on the education sector innovations in Kenya especially working as Vodafone Instant Network Class coordinator for refugee camps in Kenya.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

1. The challenges faced by my end users are numerous but specific to their education, I would say it is the access to high quality education just like all other kids studying in good schools. 2. The systems level challenge would be the curating of highly relevant content and presenting it in a way that even volunteers can become teachers without much training.

How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?

For any organization/Team to grow, it must always purpose to improve its products by factoring in feedback as well as market needs. We aim to continue ideating in this space of education for emergencies as well as education for the general public. Our next step after the Instant Class for Emergencies Kit is to probably provide a more all rounded approach to the idea by coming up with an easy to install and easily portable classroom. With proper partnerships we believe that we will be able to sustain ourselves with the revenues from the kit and also grants.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact that you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question/hurdle you need to address to get there?

IMPACT: By 2019, we aim to bring our programs to Kenya at scale, reaching 4,000 school going kids directly through our model. QUESTION: "How do we conceptualize/develop our model to maintain quality, sustainability, and replicability while adapting to cultural context in order to achieve our Vision of enabling children in emergencies to get access to quality education as per the SDGs?

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) outcomes for this project?

To measure the results of this project, we will look at several things: -Our ability to incorporate user feedback on the kit iterations so as to make sure that we deliver a kit that meets the students and teachers needs. -The ease of adoption of the kit; how fast do teachers learn to use the kit? -How fast are we/our partners able to avail approved content for different regions/countries? -How fast are the kits delivered to the user upon request?

What is the timeline for your project Idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

Key steps: 2017-March 2018 Design and produce a prototype. April 2018-June 2018 Test the prototype in select schools in Northern Kenya while gathering feedback for the final version July 2018- September 2018 Incorporate user feedback on our final v1 design of the kit October 2018- Mass produce the v1 kits and continue to iterate and incorporate other products/features as per the user needs.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • We didn't have an operating budget

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed Idea live?

  • No paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country that you intend to implement your Idea in?

  • We are not a registered entity.

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this Idea together?

  • Less than 6 months

What do you need the most support with for your innovation?

  • Business Development / Partnerships Support
  • Understanding User and/or Community
  • Business Model Support


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