Students in Kenya have a unique way of revising; using past papers from previous national exams as guidance for their revisions.
This is a great way to get a look-into how the questions are set and with guidance from teachers, this can be rewarding to students as well as break ice over the much anticipated national exams.
With the Kenyan exam-based system of learning which can make or break a student, more and more students and teachers work towards passing the final exams in order to get access to quality universities; moreover, many of them relay on past exams for revision.
Elewa is a resource for students, teachers and schools to simplify the process of exam revision and understanding of concepts. It was created in order to meet these gaps found by availing all past national exams at one place for the benefits of the students. The resource simplifies all information needed when one is revising for exams and delivers the information in a visual and insightful way.
Commenting on what drove to the formation of the online platform, Mr Mike Kipkorir, an ICT/ Education Consultant said that he and his business partner Mr Jente Rosseel a Software Developer wanted to create something that would help improve the quality of education in the country.
“We feel that the dipping quality of education is due to many factors but mostly our exam based system. Students, teachers and schools are focused on passing exams at the expense of learning outcomes,” said Mr Kipkorir.
The two went ahead to ask themselves: “What if we accepted that these exams are very important to students, teachers and schools? What if we worked out a way of simplifying the process of exam revision so much that students are completely relaxed about it”?
Thus Elewa (a Kiswahili name meaning “to understand”) was created and launched in September 2015 to answer these questions with the aim of improving the quality of education by providing simplified, visual and insightful information. Elewa uses the internet as a means of distribution.
“We have optimised the sort of information we provide to suit our distribution channel so much such that access to Elewa utilises very little internet and is accessible across all devices,” added Kipkorir.
How Elewa works
Most students revise using past papers and this process can be time consuming and complicated. But it does not have to be the case. With Elewa, the online resource simplifies revision process significantly by enabling students and teachers access and know the contents of past exam papers without having to sit through each one of them.
In the Elewa system, each question in past Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) papers is linked to the part of the class syllabus it is tested. The system uses the number of marks linked to each question to calculate the importance (weight) of that part of the syllabus in the testing of KCSE. By so doing, the data provided by Elewa gives factual insights on how KCSE is tested, thus giving students and teachers ample time carry out revisions effectively.
With barely a month since its launch, Elewa already has 112 users. As for the charges, payment is all dependent on what one wants to analyze. One can pay for all the subjects for an entire term or an individual subject for a short period of time.
Elewa’s plan is to go beyond providing a platform for students and teachers to access information on past exam papers.
“We’ll be moving into understanding of concepts. We again will simplify this process and make it visual in a way that students and teachers can understand what they learn/teach in class in a much more simplified way,” noted the Kipkorir.
As for those seating for their national exams this year, they can start enjoying the services of the site for revision. If a student is uncomfortable with a certain topic in any subject, Elewa can show exactly how that topic is usually tested and it can help students relax and prepare with more certainty.
By Maureen Murori