empowermefirst.college - we educate
We make higher education accessible - against all odds!
“As globalization and rapid advancements in technology continue to transform civic space and the world of work, education systems have grown increasingly disconnected from the realities and needs of global economies and societies. Education models must adapt to equip children with the skills to create a more inclusive, cohesive and productive world.” WEForum
empowermefirst.college is a charity based in Switzerland. We make education accessible to anyone regardless of gender, background, belief, physical mobility, lifestyle, social or financial status. We use and teach the skills for the technology of today, the technology you have, the technology you need for the future.
Guided by our vision, mission, and values, we promote equality and diversity regardless of gender, lifestyle, background, age, or religion. Our education promotes social and environmental responsibility, human rights, and equality.
Through education and knowledge application in STEM subjects, entrepreneurship, health and life skills, English and foreign languages, we address the root cause of poverty. Our curriculum and learning contents are based on the Swiss dual education system, international and national curricula.
While our students study online at their own pace and in peer groups, tutors coach them in problem solving and improving their learning methods to score well in their semester assignments. Besides preparing them for national exams, we are working on establishing a pan-African online examination board.
We provide vocational training and internships with a strong focus on ICT through our own entrepreneurship projects and partnerships with local and international companies and organizations. Our students are expected to volunteer and help develop their community as well as our organization.
what we do - Our goals and methods
what we do - Our goals and methods
What we do and how we educate
We are accessible, student-driven and project-oriented
empowermefirst.college is accessible to anyone regardless of gender, background, belief, physical mobility, social or financial status. It is setup as a charity and fees are kept affordable. Students who study for free in return for time (finding other students or peer-to-peer tutoring) and can apply for scholarships. The teaching units are online, the students have regular access to tutors, who act as coaches, and are encouraged to collaborate with other students globally via a forum and within their study groups. The teaching units can be used offline to save data.
We use student-driven learning methods. The material relates to the student’s reality, allows for cross-linked thinking and covers local and global issues, such as climate change, sustainability, health, digitalization,
equality, human rights.
Projects are cross-linked between units and interdisciplinary. Tutors coach students to develop their own projects and become independent thinkers.
We also mentor students with ideas for innovations, in entrepreneurship and career planning.
empowermefirst.college can be used by students independent of time and place. Currently, they are be coached locally to ensure an easier transition to online learning. Alternatively, we undergo create partnerships with local schools for content, labs and study centres.
The curriculum and syllabi are based on local and international standards to ensure students can access local universities.
We are creating partnerships with local, Swiss, and international companies, organisations and universities for internships, vocational trainings, scholarships, infrastructure and financial sponsorship, and remote peer-to-peer activities to promote global citizenship.
— Upper secondary and beyond
empowermefirst.college starts with providing education at upper secondary (high school, grammar school) level, because in many countries the first 9 years of school are compulsory, while most school dropouts are happening after year 9.
Students can apply with their secondary school grades, a teacher’s recommendation and there will be a placement test.
At a later stage there will be a support courses, in which students, who only have intermittent secondary school knowledge, can fill the gaps. Lower secondary and middle school courses can be included by demand and in cooperation with local schools.
— Regions, languages and courses
Its main language is English. Our first country is Zimbabwe, followed by their neighbouring countries. Later, we will move to other regions of emerging and developing countries and include further main languages.
We also plan to include vocational courses in addition to the basic academic courses, especially in ICT and administration. For this, we will work with companies that already offer apprenticeships, on the job training for internships.
— Member training and excellence
We strive for excellence and offer our students the best learning environment – at their own pace.
Student-driven, project-based learning methods are very motivating, as their allow students to develop creative, innovative approaches to learning, problem-solving and research and to work at their own pace. It allows our coaches to cater to different levels, talents and skills in their student body. Yet, it is demanding in many other ways, as they need to be guides and coaches and give individual help. We train and mentor caoches in this process.
— Maximum accessibility
To make it completely accessible – everywhere and anytime – students find their learning units online, but they can always ask and work with other students via our network, on the forum. In the centres their coaches guide them in their learning strategies.
We provide our educational content, assessments and coaching remotely to students who have moved away or who want to access their learning from their homes and plan to continuously expand on a global scale.
At the same time, we are working on creating a pan-African respectively global online examination board to counteract high examination fees.
quick facts (for students)
Our teaching units are online. All you need are a mobile phone, pen and paper.
If you don’t have data, you can download the offline version in the centres and study at home.
You can work at your own pace, but you’re never alone. You will be doing projects with other students, locally and globally via our network.
You can study, whenever and whereever you want – at your own pace.
We have two semesters per year and these are the times when we onboard new students.
Yet you’re never alone. If you have questions, ask tutors and other students in the forum, write a note to a tutor or take part in our regular teaching and question sessions.
- You get an introductory video with explanations with a downloadable script.
- Theory, examples and study tasks with links to further reading.
- Study questions and quizzes with feedback on why an answer was incorrect and what to study again.
- Project assignments with grades and feedback.
Our coaches are not instructors or lecturers, they are your partners and guides, helping you to understand a topic and how it relates to your environment.
Our learning material relates to your reality, covers global issues and you do interdisciplinary projects. You learn on your phone and with other students.
We focus on STEM and you can choose from a number of subjects from a standard curriculum. We also offer vocational trainings in ICT.