The eLearning Project










Who We Are




The Beamers Network






The most effective way to rejuvenate communities is through the population of the youth that rises to take over leadership tomorrow. In Africa, the sheer overwhelming numbers of those below age 21, more than 50% of the population, demands that we equip them and mold them as an innovative and creative force if we mean to overcome our greatest challenges. The SpotBeam project targets students in secondary schools before they are set free to face the world as young adults. The project begins with Kenya where initial research was carried out, and can be duplicated to benefit youth anywhere in Africa.


Kenya's secondary school population enrollment has risen from 30,120 students in 151 schools at the dawn of independence (1963) to 620,000 students in 3000 schools in the year 2000. The target enrollment by the end of 2008 was estimated at 1.4 million students in currently reported 4,478 secondary schools. With the introduction of subsidized secondary education, enrollment is certain to climb higher. Only about 2% of Kenya's secondary schools offer Computer Studies due to the teacher shortage, the high costs involved acquiring and maintaining equipment and examining practical subjects. Other applied science subject that raise competency in the 21st Century also fail to reach a significant number of students for the same reasons.

~ Sources: Dr. Kilemi Mwiria, Vocationalization of Secondary Education: Kenya Case Study; Encyclopedia, Kenya Secondary Education ~ Vision: To Make Mwambonu an Institution that Produces Individuals with Wholesome Character Functional in the Society.

Mwambonu Secondary School in dire need of a computer lab.
Mission: To recognize and develop student skills and talents.


For nearly a decade, in spite of the sharp increase in student enrollment, the Teachers Service Commission has maintained a teaching force of 235,000 teachers for both primary and secondary schools, replacing only those that retire, resign or die. The current teacher-pupil ratio is one to 45. The country now faces a dearth of teachers, textbooks, and facilities for applied education subjects that include Computer Studies.

Broken down equipment
in computer labs

Innovative solutions to these immediate needs are necessary if the education system is to serve individuals, communities and country.

Failures and Genius

"All it takes to score an E is for my
grandmother to get to the exam room
and write her name."

~ Cleophas Tirop, Chairman,  
Secondary School Heads Association~

In the past five years, only 24% of graduating students have qualified for college education. This number thins out farther when those who cannot afford college tuition are left out to join the job-hunting masses in a largely wage-earning economy. A significant number of those that eventually graduate college similarly find themselves scrounging for scarce employment opportunities. A culture of innovative industry lacks. "The crisis Kenya faces in the 21st century is finding jobs for an educated people who are poor and disillusioned." ( Encyclopedia, Kenya Secondary Education).

Precious Blood Secondary Schools girls
celebrating final exam results

We believe that supplementing existing pedagogy with innovative technology will not only make for happy and inspired teachers; it will also raise students' grades in the final exam. The number of academically successful students must begin to surpass that of failing students if the education system is to be counted as effective. Evetually, the youth must become the force behind building an innovation-driven economy. The highly developed and internationally competent education curriculum in Kenya is a foundation that makes this not only possible, but the only direction to go.

Effects and Solutions

There is a direct link between having mass academic failure and increased crime and gang violence by the youth. Kenya is no stranger to its youth lending themselves for use in organized political violence. For those who are left out of college, we must create opportunities for them to engage in meaningful industry, first, by recognizing their talents and rejecting the pervasive attitude of dismissing them as failures in life. SpotBeam's contribution: A digital renaissance in the classroom that provides:

  • A video conferencing infrastructure to supplement ordinary teaching methods and transmit rare material in subjects such as peace education, leadership, health.
  • An innovative learning environment that inspires students towards a self-reliant, problem-solving mindset necessary for job creation.
  • Opportunity for students in last-mile zone schools to be included in the digital renaissance.

In a few years they will be in secondary school.
What is their future?


"Kenya developed a highly expanded educational system that rivals those in the most industrialized countries in terms of its complexity and competitiveness."

~ Buchmann 2000 ~

The secondary school Computer Studies syllabus is an example of an excellent foundation laid for a renaissance that now awaits the right tools to take off.

Secondary school Computer Studies text books
selling between KES 245 to 355

SpotBeam's plan, which is already underway, is to work with the structures that support education and the interests of the youth. This synergy aims at providing the tools that the students need to be a part of the digital renaissance. Participants include, but are not limited to; the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information and Communications, the ICT Board, the Communication Commission of Kenya, and program developers. Kenya's youth can and will steer its communities' and its country's destiny to deserved prosperity.

A digital revolution also greatly eases the pressure of dependence on scarce arable land. Kenya has faced perpetual famine year in year out. It is time to invest in the minds of the youth. The 21st century demands novelty, innovation and creativity.

"Investment in secondary education pays off in healthier families, in a better qualified workforce, stronger economies and reduced poverty."

~ Sara Cameron, Chief Communications Officer,
   United Nations Children's Fund, Kenya office ~