Historically, STEM education in East African countries is based on rote learning from outdated textbooks. Girls in particular have limited access to quality STEM lessons and experimentation. In 2016, Pivot Academy brought Tablet-based learning and experiments to nearly 200 teachers and students at an all-girls high school "Biyimana" in Rwanda's rural Ruhango District. In 2017, the program expanded to all five of the District's science curriculum-focused high schools.
Education officials in East African countries from Kenya to South Sudan are emphasizing that they can't depend solely on NGOs to solve problem. They see shifts in STEM education for young people, including for girls, as the way to accelerate and sustain development. The challenge is the gap in teacher knowledge of competency-based tools and technology to support interactive STEM learning. This gap is pronounced in emergency and conflict zones where hands-on labs and equipment are unavailable. Because the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan are all part of an East Africa bloc, education standards are increasingly aligned, making it possible to replicate Pivot Academy broadly across school districts, countries, and urban and rural environments.