Cape Town based edtech Injini unveiled and launched officially on the 10th of October eight start ups that have been selected to join its cohort. The eighth start ups from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan and Tanzania known as Accelerated, Early Bird, M-shule, Mtabe, Syafunda, Uthini, Yo’Books and Zelda pitched at the event held in Cape Town.

The Co-founder of Injini Jamie Martin lamented on the state of education in South Africa and the Continent in general. He said 30 million children all over Africa were out of school and half of that number with no experience of school at all. He noted that the African population is set to double in the next three decades and with sixty four percent of the populace under 25 the ” education crisis is about to be given a fierce urgency by demographics”.

Quoting him “The fierce urgency of that demographic challenge means that technology has got to be part of the solution”. He went on to say “The reason we have come together to work on this is that business as usual is failing in education in Africa, it is failing here in South Africa. Failing the 58% of children who are aged nine and can’t read for meaning. Failing the 60% who leave high school without their matric, failing those who pass and go on to university and then find that there is not a funding system that allows them to stay there. And failing the millions of unemployed adults who were let down the first time around by the education system and then find there’s no second chance,”

“If that’s the scale of the problem in Africa’s most industrialised economy, you can imagine the scale of the problem in countries that don’t have the financial capital, the infrastructure and the institutions that we have got here in South Africa,” he added.

Injini’s first cohort is working on tech that includes data analytics, feature-phone based active learning systems and artificial intelligence. The following are the first cohorts:

Accelerated (Ethiopia): Tech-based model that provides continuous teacher mentoring and learning inputs for engaging classrooms.

Early Bird (South Africa): Early childhood development analytics app for parents and early childhood development teachers.

M-Shule (Kenya): An adaptive mobile learning platform which is accessible on feature-phones and delivers content via SMS.

Mtabe (Tanzania): An offline digital assistant and search engine which uses artificial intelligence to provide education access to students without internet or smartphones.

Syafunda (South Africa): Learning and data management platform which provides access to digital content (audio, video and ebooks) through a wireless digital library.

Uthini (South Africa): Language learning platform that works through human tutors and a chatbot assistant.

Yo’ Books (South Sudan): Reading platform and online book store that distributes books on low-cost devices.

Zelda (South Africa): A platform that aims to address the lack of support young students receive while trying to make career building decisions. Zelda links students with bursars, employers and potential opportunities.