Kytabu Textbook Subscription

Project Representative
Tonee Ndungu
Creation Date: 2012
Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya
Geographical Reach: Kenya
Nature and number of beneficiaries: 7,500 beneficiaries

Kytabu Textbook Subscription

About the Project

Kytabu is a textbook subscription application that provides students with access to pre-installed digital textbooks on modems, dongles and tablets. A student can lease a page, chapter or book from the library for an hour, day, week, month or school term using a mobile payment system.
The application does more than store books; it has audio books in various languages, learning games, a virtual classroom for in-class chats, a “past tests and exams” section for self-evaluation and an “edu-store” for additional edu-apps.
The application provides students with access to very affordable learning content that is topical and relevant in a fun, engaging and convenient manner. It creates a suitable delivery platform for publishers and content developers while bringing mobile service providers and hardware manufacturers into the education sector to grow its impact but keep it within the reach of the very poor (living on $1 a day or less). 

Context and Issue

Textbooks for primary and high schools are very expensive in Africa and the majority of the population cannot afford them. Furthermore, books are inaccessible, not durable, and often old, outdated and bulky. As a consequence, teachers have very few resources to prepare and deliver their courses, and students to study and learn.

Solution and Impact

Kytabu addresses these challenges by allowing the end user not to be constrained by the cost of the device. The subscription is easy to use and fits the economic circumstances of the Kenyan public. This means that a majority of students in Kenya, irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds, can access the Kytabu application and benefit from the textbook subscription application.

Also, the flexibility offered by the application in terms of the content leased and the lease period is an incentive for all students and teachers to experience it in the way that suits them best.

Furthermore, the fact that it includes content in various languages is an asset that increases the use of the application in fun and engaging ways.

In addition, Kenya has embarked on fully digitizing and delivering education on digital platforms by 2017. Kytabu, founded by one of Kenya’s EdTech veterans and currently run by a leading industry force in digital content delivery, is perfectly placed to deliver the solution the government requires.

Future Developments

Kytabu is already on the leading edge of EdTech in Kenya. In 12 months, the project representatives plan to be a regional service provider with a continent-wide expansion strategy with global technology and mobile service provider partners.

The future plans include developing an even more intuitive application with culturally specific and student-centric content for the whole East African region.

Kytabu is one of the projects selected for the 2014-2015 WISE Accelerator.

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