The Educate! Experience is designed to give students the skills to solve poverty for themselves and their communities. They deliver a practical, skills-based model of education by partnering with existing secondary schools. The program model is driven by the people involved – the students, mentors, and teachers in these partner schools.
SCHOLARS: Students in the program are teenagers in high school (secondary level) who are preparing for life after school. Educate! students - called Scholars - receive leadership, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness training, as well as mentorship to set up real student businesses. Giving these Scholars the skills to succeed is the core of Educate!'s work and model.
ASSOCIATE TEACHERS: Educate! selects the most innovative and engaged teachers at each partner school to be part of our mission for transforming education in Africa. These teachers join our Experience Association to build a community of practice and learning around skills-based education within each school. Educate! Associate Teachers introduce global best practices in their own classrooms, and lead school-wide components of our program, such as Student Business Clubs, peer mentorship events, and community service days.
MENTORS: The Educate! Experience program is run by youth for youth. A practically-trained Educate! Mentor delivers our training, mentorship, and student business support through weekly lessons at partner schools. Educate! Mentors (many of whom are Educate! Graduates) are from the local community and have practical experience running small business or community projects. Mentors are trained to use a mentoring approach to facilitate skill-building experiences for their Scholars. In addition to teaching the course in partner schools, Educate!’s Mentors also participate in our Youth Business Experience. Through this program Mentors receive continued skills training, connections to local partnerships, and stipends to serve as capital injections for their businesses.
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After three years of on-the-ground implementation since its launch in 2009, Educate!'s curriculum and Student Business Club structure has become an integral part of a national entrepreneurship curriculum in Uganda. This has enabled Educate! to reach an additional 25,000 students annually across the country, beyond Educate!'s direct role in the classroom. Educate! has also achieved measurable impact with its first two graduating classes — its Randomized Controlled Trial showed that graduates earned twice as much as their peers and were 64 percent more likely to own a business than their peers. Overall, 94% of graduates now run a business, hold a job, or attend university.
In 2013, the program ran an intensive research and development process to design for scale with the intention of tripling its program from 54 schools to 150. In 2014, it surpassed this goal, working with 238 schools and 83,000 youth. In 2015, it is working with 250 schools and 87,500 youth in Uganda, while planning for expansion to a new region of Uganda and launching in a new country next year.
Educate!’s model was launched in 24 schools in four districts in 2009, and since then has worked to build innovative, sustainable, scalable and cost-effective solutions.
In 2013 Educate! worked in 54 schools and ran an intensive research and design process to optimize their model for scale. In 2014 they more than quadrupled their reach, partnering with over 238 schools across 15 districts in Uganda. In 2015 Educate! scaled further, working in 252 schools and reaching almost 90,000 youth.
In 2016 Educate! launched in a second country, Rwanda, and scaled to nearly 400 schools in Uganda, reaching 14,000 youth directly and 240,000 youth more broadly across Uganda and Rwanda. In 2016 they have continued to quality test our model at scale through rigorous monitoring and evaluation, confirming that it's possible to drive costs down and make adjustments where necessary to ensure that beneficiaries continue to receive the most impactful, cost-effective intervention possible.
By impacting youth directly, building capacity in schools, and continuing to advocate for system-wide adoption of their approach, Educate! aims to fully integrate their model do into secondary education systems across Africa. Their Vision for 2017 is to impact one million youth measurably and four million broadly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Results from Educate!’s Randomized Controlled Trial, the gold standard in impact evaluation, show that students who completed the program earned more than twice as much as their peers (an average of $338 per year, compared to $165 per year — an increase of $173 or 105 percent), and the effect on girls was even larger-- female Graduates showed a 120% income increase compared to girls in the control group.
To maintain impact and manage operations at scale, Educate! has developed an M&E system that is timely enough to provide rapid information to manage its programs, but scalable enough to serve the growing number of partner schools. It collects data on more than 25 indicators on a weekly, monthly, trimester-ly, or annual basis to monitor program performance and evaluate its impact. Key indicators include Scholar attendance, percentage of schools with Student Business Clubs with revenue, median revenue of Student Business Clubs, and percentage of Scholars with businesses or community initiatives.
With the goals of fast turnaround and robust program management, Educate! has launched an SMS and smartphone reporting system that allows it to gather information from remote parts of the country in a cost-effective manner. The metrics that field staff provide through this system populate a web-based dashboard that updates in real time. Visit Educate!’s Impact Dashboard: http://www.experienceeducate.org/dashboard/.
The Educate! team has also created a Secondary School Assessment Tool (SSAT). Based on Pratham's ASER, SSAT evaluates improvements in soft and hard skills and is designed for rapid turnaround to provide data on Scholars each trimester.
74% of head teachers at Educate! partner schools gave Educate! an 8 out of 10 or higher for its impact on students' lives.
667 Educate! graduates.
On average, Educate! lessons had an 83% attendance rate.
87% of teachers attended Educate!'s teacher trainings.
It costs $125 per Educate! Scholar to deliver their program, which brings a 5.5x return on investment in just 4 years from Graduates average income increasing to $173 based on Educate!'s Randomized Controlled Trial.