This initiative is part of the 2023-24 WISE Edtech Accelerator Cohort. 

What they do

M-Shule is the first personalized knowledge-building platform in Africa to connect learners to tailored learning, evaluation, activation, and data tools over SMS and messaging. Meaning “mobile school” in Swahili, M-Shule combines SMS with artificial intelligence to reach offline or marginalised communities with self-paced, interactive, and personalised resources to power their success.

In order to reach and serve an audience without connectivity, smart devices, or strong digital literacy, M-Shule has developed an innovative suite of SMS tools that comprise the LEAD Toolkit (Learn, Evaluate, Activate and Data).

Why it matters

Across Sub-Saharan Africa’s 144 million primary school students, 90% of the population lives on less than $10 a day. Learning outcomes are low. According to the Brookings Institute and UNESCO, up to 40% of students perform below minimum grade level. Only 28% move on to secondary school at all. Parents consider primary education the only key to a better future, and UNESCO estimates they spend about $60 a year per child to achieve that goal. But the options they have now aren’t working – tutors or books are expensive, other SMS tools don’t personalize or integrate information, and education apps require smartphones and expensive data that won’t be available for 5 years or more.

Traction so far

To date, the platform has delivered strong results across more than 20,000 households from over 30 Kenyan counties in more than 6 skill development domains and 7 languages, including Dholuo, English, Kamba, Kikuyu, Kiswahili, Ng’aturkana and Somali. The assessment tool has also been used to assess foundational literacy and numeracy in Uganda and Tanzania.

August 23, 2023