Category Archives: education

Africa Digital Media Institute – ADMI Celebrates 5th Anniversary

This week the Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI) celebrated its fifth anniversary. Founded in 2012 as the Jamhuri Film and Television Academy, by Wilfred Kiumi, it has gone from having 5 students to over 500 now and is well on its way to becoming Kenya’s premier film and media training school that will soon expand to Nigeria and Ghana.

via: ADMI facebook.

The school has expanded beyond film and TV production to include film & TV production, software engineering & design, digital marketing, sound engineering, music production, multimedia, animation, photography and graphic design

Founding Director Kiumi said young creatives took a long time to get international gigs and the gap is yet to be filled and this was why ADMI exists, and later, Director Laila Macharia said ADMI runs its programs to global standards, offering practical digital education so that students are earning incomes even before they graduate.

ADMI has a non-profit arm that works to help needy and deserving students with scholarships and in other ways. Now,  partners, studios, schools and other well-wishers can contribute to help even more students to get valuable training at ADMI.

ALU: Africa’s University of the Future

The African Leadership University (ALU) is a pan-African university, which  aims to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist today. Their programs aim to equip students  with necessary skills including entrepreneurship, leadership, critical thinking, and project management – right from their first term. They have an intense online engagement process to monitor student performance that starts right from the time students apply and  through admissions, assignments, courses, exams and assignments.

Their current degrees on offer at their Mauritius campus are Computing (Bsc), Business Management (BA), Social Sciences (BA) and Psychology (Bsc) . It opened in September 2015, and has over 200 students from over 30 African countries.  Every year, students can get up to 4  months of internship at one of the ALU partner organizations which include Cellulant, Coca Cola, McKinsey, Tiger, IBM, PWC, Thomson Reuters,  Pernod Ricard and Swiss Re. The partners also help subsidize the cost of education at ALU where year of tuition and accommodation is about $,7000 – a modest amount compared to the cost of university education in many countries.

They also have a study abroad program that takes 4-12 months and ALU will have an MBA program at a new campus that will soon open in Rwanda, and for which they are already accepting applications. ALU is part of the Africa Leadership Group, and has founders including Fred Swaniker, Graca Machel and Donald Kaberuka. Eventually, they plan to have  25 campuses across Africa that can host 10,000 students a year.

ALU teams are currently on road shows to promote the university in Accra, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Lagos. They have a workshops, schools visits, and other events this month as they promote the university, and they are accepting applications up to a deadline on June 5.

BRCK Education Launches in Nairobi

It’s been just over a year, since the BRCK team launched their groundbreaking device – a rugged 3G router with Wi-Fi, and 8 hour battery life that’s built to be extended to work with other devices and uses.

From pieces of electronic junk assembled at the iHub a few years earlier, this became a consumer electronics device that has now been sold in 54 countries and the team is now back with the next variants of their device.

BRCK engineers

BRCK engineers

The initial device had been extended since with assistance from partners and feedback from users, some of who found that the in-built storage in the BRCK and its micro web server (which allowed users to share content over Wi-Fi) were unexpectedly and surprisingly crucial features.

The groups who showed the greatest interest in extending the capabilities of the BRCK were mainly in the education sector – comprising education providers who had content, but had challenges delivering it at schools around the world which had the challenges of electricity, internet, device failure etc. With the support of Mozilla Foundation, they were able to develop the BRCK pi – in which a Linux server was added to the BRCK, enabling content to be shared, even with zero connectivity.

#BRCKEducation

Nivi, who was a co-founder of eLimu learning tablets, and who’s now the president of BRCK Education spoke of the inspiration and challenges that eLimu went through in delivering digital education through sharing text-book content in a digital format – with the main problems being uploading new content and the fragility of the imported tablets. But with BRCK content cached locally, they were able to update several eLimu tablets overnight.

BRCK was launching two devices today in Nairobi that can be ordered at the BRCK Education site:

  • The BRCK Kio is a new sturdy tablet for school education. It can survive a 70-centimeter drop, is water & dust proof and is designed for kid-size hands. It has 8 hours of battery life, to last a full school day and has the latest processor from Intel. The $99 Kio is available for sale from October 1 to schools, and thereafter to the public in January 2016.
  • The BRCK Kio Kit a suitcase that has a BRCK pi (server), and 40 Kio tablets. The Kio Kit has a single charging point (and can be solar-powered in hotter areas) and wireless charging sleeves in which kids drop their tablets after school to recharge, and get uploaded with new content. The Kio Kit has a single power port and a single start button that gets the entire Kio Kit running in a minute. Erik a.k.a @whiteafricam, who’s a BRCK co-founder said that wireless charging, which is still a luxury item in many parts of the world, was an essential feature here to eliminate the need for multiple charging cables (and many sockets at schools). The Kio Kit is also secured that if someone removes (steals) a Kio tablet from the school, it won’t work and can’t be flushed. An entire Kio Kit costs $5,000.
BRCK Kio kit charging and loading Kio tablets

BRCK Kio kit charging and loading Kio tablets

#BRCKEducation has partners at JP, Intel, Pearson, Eneza education, KnowZone, eKitabu, eLimu and Kenyatta University. It also has Chase Bank as a finance partner to enable schools to acquire Kio Kits at Kshs. 46,000 ($460) per month.

More on the launch and products here and here . 

Strathmore Masters 2015

Strathmore University had a cocktail event to introduce their 2015 Masters Program.

Some of the interesting programs include masters of applied philosophy & ethics, masters in public policy management and masters in healthcare management. They also have three new masters maths programs (biomaths – that can be  applied in healthcare, financial maths – that can be applied in NSE/capital markets, and a masters statistical sciences).

Strathmore also has executive programs  to short courses tailored for professionals like  business owners/managers, construction project managers, digital advertisers (a partnership with Google) and an upcoming summit for women executive leaders to prepare more of them to take up seats on company boards.

At the event, Joseph Sevilla said all masters classes in his program (masters at iLab are in information security and mobile telecommunications) are taught by PhD’s as they won’t compromise on that – though it meant they had to use distance learning as some lecturers could not be found in Kenya.

The Strathmore Business School was opened in 2005 so this is their 10th anniversary.

GEMS School Nairobi

In Kenya for the last two years is the GEMS Cambridge School on Magadi Road, just past Galleria Mall. They are part of the 55 year old GEMS network, the largest K-12 school system in the world with 160,000 students and 13,000 teachers at with schools in Dubai, France, US, India, Europe and now in select African countries, offering different systems of education like IB and IGCSE.  Kenya will be their African headquarters and the school will soon be joined by others in Ugnanda and Nigeria then later by more in South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania.

Interestingly, they price the English curriculum education they offer in Kenya as  ‘upper middle’ with fees ranging between Kshs 50,000 -120,000 ($1,333) per month, while in Uganda they will price themselves as premium school that will command even higher fees. They also don’t consider themselves ‘expensive’ as other Nairobi schools charge much more in an curriculum system that has not had new schools in about 30 years.

The GEMS Nairobi school has facilities include ICT and science labs, cricket field, pool, full track, and library, for the almost 1,000 students who also include boarders.  They  work to transition kids from the Kenyan (8-4-4) system by doing assessments of new students and monitoring their changes in terms of critical thinking and habit changes.

Philanthropy is a big part of GEMS, and through Varkey Foundation, they have several initiatives including an annual $1 million teacher prize in which a Kenyan is a finalist this year. They have also rehabilitated a school in Kibera, donated 30 libraries to schools in 8 counties, and are collaborating with the iHub on kids tech camps.