We dream of an Africa with
quality learning experiences for all
Schooling isn’t learning
Uwezo’s annual “Are Our Children Learning?” Research showed that for five consecutive years, learning outcomes have remained stagnant in Kenya. While access to schools have increased, the education offered does not prepare youth for the 21st century.
“Schooling is not learning. We need to reimagine learning.”
Dr. John Mugo
Former head of Uwezo, Founder and Executive Director of Zizi Afrique, and Founding Metis Board member
Although those closest to the problem are always closest to the solution, proximate leaders often struggle to access necessary tools and resources to start and scale innovations.
Local innovators lack access to funding and support.
“While working with incredible Kenyan school leaders in informal settlements, I saw they were real innovators—figuring out how to upskill teachers who hadn’t graduated college, figuring out how to engage caregivers who were working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet, incorporating social emotional learning in a rigid curriculum. Why weren’t they receiving support to scale their impact or opportunities to shape funding and policy?”
Rebecca Crook, co-founder of Metis
Problems with existing approaches to
Metis co-founder Kathlyn Pattillo interviewed hundreds of funders, entrepreneurs, and education leaders in Kenya. Combined with Rebecca’s research and experience working with from education leaders across South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Kenya, they identified that high-potential local leaders were not receiving support for 4 critical reasons:
Most investors fund later-stage entrepreneurs. They typically do not coach government leaders to shift complex regulations, entrapreneurs to drive higher quality within existing schools and organizations, or entrepreneurs with ideas that have not been piloted yet.
Many investors lack expertise in how to enable higher quality education initiatives because they invest across multiple sectors, which means they do not provide education-specific support and practitioners do not learn from other leaders in the education sector about what works.
Many large investments are selected by non-Africans living outside of Africa, often men, disconnected from local political contexts, realities, and opportunities. Few large investments are in initiatives led by non-white Africans and women. As a result, many investors miss the potential of emerging models.
What Works in Education
Investors typically fund individual models, not collective impact that creates the conditions for local practitioners to learn across silos and build solutions to entrenched and complex problems.
From our inception, Metis has gathered changemakers from across the ecosystem—from grassroots to government leaders—to learn, collaborate, and act collectively. In 2018, we partnered with BRIGHT magazine to help 100 entrepreneurs, funders, and practitioners learn “What works in education” from Metis Fellows and Council members.
“Adults should listen to kids more. We know what we are talking about. It was empowering to be able to share my opinion of what a great education is and should be to such a big audience!”
Form 3 student, Starehe Girl’s Student Centre