This Start-Up is Putting Education at Africa’s Fingertips
Education is a powerful weapon. As true as that may be Africa seems to be lagging behind when it comes affordable education. On the continent, a university degree is a luxury that most cannot afford and as the African population increases, so does the scarcity of education. Access to high quality education is challenge and Chalkboard Education has developed a worthy solution.The organisation offers a low-cost application for universities to offer e-learning curricula. The app is accessible online and offline, with and without an Internet connection. It does require a one-time access to Internet, after that everything is accessible offline as content is compressed and pre downloaded.
Impact Hub Accra is a hive of activity and genius but most importantly, the members of the community understand that the greatest innovations come from identifying a need and providing a solution. When co-founder/Business Development Manager Miora Randriambeloma decided to move to Accra and join Founder/CEO Adrien Bouillot, the idea of an educational portal that would become a hanger seemed a bit far-fetched. She knew it would be a lot of work but they committed to do it anyway. Miora and Adrien believed pursuing the dream of Chalkboard Education was well worth the risk of a possible failure. With their ambition guiding them in the process the prototypes were tested, re-imagined.
The result of the duo’s tireless effort is a comprehensive platform that allows universities to make their content available to their students.One can easily work their way through a degree level program and at no cost. Miora and Adrien understood that for their service to be effective they had to build and establish several partnerships, the most important being with professors. The application is not only user-friendly but it also allows professors to have a hand in the creation of their course materials and monitoring the progress of their students with slides,images ,text and audio. The solution is low cost in its production and broadcasting, making it the ideal tool for blended learning . Ghanaian professors have taken to the solution in droves and Chalkboard Education is now scaling their product into Francophone West Africa.
Chalkboard Education was named best startup at Seedstars Ghana in 2016, adding to the Impact Award they won at the Education Hackathon in Paris in 2015. The start up has also managed to raise $237,000 funding to scale from the Jacobs Foundation, a philanthropy organisation in the field of child and youth development. All these recognitions pale in comparison to the remarkable work they are doing, all of it stemming from what they are passionate about. Miora is the daughter of a university professor in Madagascar, she grew an interest for education and social equality from a young age and Adrien is the son of a teacher, raised with the belief that education is the key to success. Because of Chalkboard Education, tertiary education may no longer be a pipe dream to most youth across Africa