How Ghana’s eCampus puts the classroom in the palm of your hand

Ghanaian startup eCampus claims to “puts the classroom in your palm”, providing a mobile and web application that gives learners 24/7 access to teaching notes, podcasts, video lessons, audiobooks, tests and a topic-based discussion forum. 

eCampus is designed to provide in-depth analysis and intelligence to learners to make them better prepared to take examinations, while a point-earning system aims to monitor, evaluate, and motivate learners.

The platform provides intelligence to teachers and learning facilitators. This allows them to understand the strengths and limitations of students and to tailor their teaching to meet the needs of each learner or student. 

The history and development of eCampus can be traced back to 2003 when the company began product sales using floppy discettes. 

“In 2005, we transitioned to using HTML and PHP in a server client environment, where we went to schools and uploaded the software on their servers,” Cecil Senna Nutakor, CEO of eCampus, told Disrupt Africa.

“In 2009, we went online, and then in 2014, we moved to the cloud. In 2015, the eCampus web and mobile application was created.”

Now, the company plans to expand into Anglophone East, Southern Africa and Francophone Africa by 2022. Nutakor says uptake has been “gradual”.

“People are steadily adapting to online learning. Online learning was not widely used in the pre-pandemic era. People were skeptical about its effectiveness.  Schools were reluctant to invest in infrastructure to enable online learning and even the Ghanaian education service was a bit reluctant,” he said.

“But during the pandemic, uptake was very high, and it has remained on that wavelength post-pandemic. We now have over 50,000 users, with more than half being active users.”

Because of his own experience, Nutakor came up with the idea for eCampus. 

“I failed my final secondary school exams three times in a row, and all those times I wanted to find a tool I could use to prepare me and let me know if I was ready for the exams. I did not want to believe I was dumb as my parent and uncles thought, because I knew there was just a problem with the system,” he said.

These kinds of problems persist to this day, although eCampus works to solve them.

“The report cards students receive in school after examinations are not detailed enough to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Nutakor. “This is where eCampus comes in. We provide an AI-enabled assessment of the student’s performance based on topics or subjects they are strong in to guide their career path and future learning curve.”

The startup also wants to provide the various stakeholders in the educational journey – learners, teachers, administrators, and global organisations – with smart intelligence to make decisions as  to the number of students who are ready for examinations, in order to reduce the failure rate and  help improve learning outcomes.

eCampus raised capital from friends and family, as well angel investors. Version 4.0 of the web application is due to be released this year. It has already launched content for Ghana’s health sector education and is now looking at other markets.

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