In 2012, an idea hashed up by Tonee Ndungu and his father (a local school headteacher) on how to provide textbooks in an affordable but digital means to his school of 64 children seemed distant but logical. Leasing out content in byte-sized chuncks through a mobile money payment fit the local economy of the urban settlement his school was in. Everyone understood the economics of paying very little for only what is needed now, as they worked for the money they would need for what they would have tomorrow. Called the ‘kadogo’ –meaning little– economy in Swahili, education content seemed to be the only frontier the solution had not reached. And so Kytabu ( from the word “Kitabu”, Swahili for ‘book’) was born.
Welcome to Kytabu
Simplified to a paragraph, the objective of the application is to provide students with access to affordable learning content, that is current and relevant, in a convenient manner that is still fun and engaging. The application, built with the knowledge that the education sector has many stakeholders, creates a conducive working environment for publishers and content developers will bringing in mobile service providers and hardware manufactures into the education sector to grow its impact and capacity. With 7.5 million children in formal schools and another 7.2 million in informal learning environments in Kenya, there has to be more we can do with the 250,000 teachers we have.