Kenya: EKITABU Transforms Learning Within East African Schools
By George Okore
A novel and a successful project bringing digital content to over 300 schools within East African region is being hailed as a trend setter.
Operating under the banner - Tunaenda Digital - eKitabu is East Africa’s premier ebook store, selling and distributing ebooks and interactive content to schools and individuals at ekitabu.com. The platform works with all leading publishers in Kenya and internationally in content provision. It also carries books approved by relevant authorities like Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
“eKitabu is privileged to work with the Kenyan Ministry of Education in piloting e-learning. We have also delivered eBooks and interactive content to schools throughout East Africa through corporate partnerships such as MTN,” says ekitabu CEO and Founder Will Clurman.
Mr. Clurman says ekitabu aims to make learning and educational interesting and will use technological convergence to impart content on extra curriculum activities including games and sports. He says ekitabu engages learners in creative thinking. “Using technological approach to learning, ekitabu will also bring animations, videos, songs and games towards more interactive learning,” he says.
Within the East African region, ekitabu has partnered with several publishers to distribute eBooks to millions of learners and to the general readership in digital formats. Mr. Clurman says eKitabu is East Africa’s and global eBook store where readers can purchase, download and read eBooks through the eKitabu online portal (ekitabu.com) and free Android application.
Additionally, eKitabu has broken the e-commerce barrier of payment in Africa by enabling purchase of eBooks using mobile money transfer services such as M-Pesa (in Kenya), MTN (in Uganda and Rwanda) and Tigo (in Tanzania) as well as use of credit cards.
This month, during the Nairobi International Book Fair, ekitabu will award winners of this year’s Digital Essay Competition, which was open to students in all public and private schools across Kenya. Students submitted essays online at essay.ekitabu.com for the competition, now in its third year.
Now in its third annual running the Digital Essay Competition has awarded over 1.2 Million Kenya Shillings to winning students, teachers, and schools. Teachers were encouraged to register their students as well as their schools, with prizes available both for students and teachers.
“We received participation from all 47 Counties with over 2,100 entries and winners will earn prizes including devices loaded with ebooks. We are using technology as a tool through which information, ideas and passions can grow” says Mercy Musyoki- Marketing Manager at ekitabu.
Ms. Musyoki says by changing the approach to learning, ekitabu will improve the quality of education and citizenship. Our app is an ed-tech initiative that incorporates content correlating to the national curriculum vamped up with animations, videos, songs, music, games and quizzes to make the learning process more interactive, interesting, fun and engaging for students.
In Kenya, participating schools include ICT champions such as Friends School Kamusinga, Flourspar School in Kerio Valley, Maralal Primary, Starehe Boys Centre, Kenya High, Starehe Girls’ Centre, Nairobi Primary and Kenya High among others.
The competition has several partners and sponsors including Ministry of Education, Avanti, HP, Elimu, Swahilihub / Taifa Leo, Longhorn Publishers, Moran Publishers, Oxford University Press, Soma Soma Initiative, MTN, Kenya Publishers Association (KPA), Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA), Kenya Primary School Heads Association (KEPSHA), Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) and Kenya Publishers Association (KPA).