The launch of the Shupavu in Rwanda is part of the Mastercard Foundation’s COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program which has two main goals; to deliver emergency support for health workers, first responders, and students and, Secondly, to strengthen the diverse institutions that are the first line of defense against the social and economic aftermath of this disease.
The SMS platform will provide access to the Ask a Teacher feature where students can ask questions to a pool of teachers and receive responses via SMS shortcode 2910 on the MTN network. On the 1st of November, they will also be able to access lessons and quizzes aligned to the Rwandan curriculum via the same shortcode. The service will be free to students in Upper Primary and Lower Secondary till 31st July 2021. Students will register using their ID number used for accessing REB eLearning.
“Our Shupavu platform digitizes the local curriculum and makes it available to any mobile phone, however basic. We have had the privilege of serving millions of learners in Kenya, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire and we look forward to serving millions of Rwandese learners too. We hope learners in Rwanda will find our Ask A Teacher Platform that will be linked to REB eLearning to be a valuable study companion at this time,” said Wambura Kimunyu, Eneza Education CEO.
Since mid-March, 3,161,990 students in Primary and Secondary school are currently out of school in Rwanda as part of social distancing measures put in place by the government due to COVID19 pandemic. With uncertainty prevailing about when schools will be able to reopen again, we face the spectre of children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds falling even further behind their peers in their learning.
We leveraged the most widely available tools and technologies to support continued learning for those who would otherwise be left behind. Our aim is to complement lessons being broadcast via Radio by the Rwanda Education Board to the students.
“While many educational technologies rely on an internet connection, Eneza is fairly unique in its focus on enabling learning via SMS with no data or connectivity requirement. This makes it accessible to the majority of households, including the most vulnerable. We’ve seen how impactful this model has been in Kenya and other countries and look forward to seeing it support thousands, if not more, of young Rwandans,” said Rica Rwigamba, Country Head, Rwanda at the Mastercard Foundation.
“Since the pandemic began, we have launched several initiatives including TV and Radio airing lessons, to ensure that students continue to learn while at home. Using low-tech is key to ensure wide access. Ongoing TV and Radio lessons will be complemented by Eneza education’s SMS based platform by adding interaction between teachers and students. Furthermore, SMS based lessons and assessment delivery will support our eLearning to reach as many students as possible.” said Christine Niyizamwiyitira, Head of Department of ICT in Education at Rwanda Education Board.
About Eneza Education
Eneza Education is an education technology company founded in 2013 that provides learning and revision materials via any phone however basic. Eneza is based in Kenya, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Eneza’s mission is to make 50 million learners in Africa through mobile technology. We believe that any phone can be turned into a classroom and that levels the playing field when it comes to content delivery.