Might 06, 2019
Photograph: Mohammed Amri
Ali Khatau is simply 23 years previous yet the Tanzanian medical scholar is a serial social entrepreneur — and a successful one. His newest undertaking is an schooling on-line platform to assist learners ace their examination preparations.
Khatau, who is a medical scholar at Hubert Kairuki Memorial University in Dar es Salaam, created ElimuTanzania in mid-2016. The web platform makes use of know-how to offer access to quite a lot of instructional material and content material to Tanzanian secondary college students in preparation for his or her national exams. The platform has 60,000-plus customers and more than 200,000 pageviews.
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“The platform enables learners to take revision tests, access an extensive library of past examination papers, view examination results and do a lot more. All our content is based on the Tanzanian national academic curriculum at the secondary level and is designed to stimulate and personalize the learning experience outside of school,” Khatau advised Moguldom.
He additionally launched one other enterprise, Darequip, which sells medical gear to college students and lecturers.
Khatau informed Moguldom extra about ElimuTanzania and his entrepreneurial drive.
Moguldom: You’re simply 23 years previous, how did you get so involved in on-line schooling?
Ali Khatau: I’ve been a scholar all my life, and going via virtually 13 years of center and high school, I observed fairly a couple of problems within the schooling system in my country. I believed schooling was and is probably the most powerful medium I might use to vary my country and needed to unravel the problems and challenges I faced so different students might have it easier and should carry out better. The rationale I used the Internet as the medium was because the Internet is a very low cost and efficient mode of delivering info to individuals.
Because the world advances, online learning ultimately will turn into mainstream and I consider because of the continuously growing internet penetration in Tanzania, we will attain hundreds of thousands of scholars in a really brief amount of time. Newest reviews indicate that there were around 17.3 million internet customers in Tanzania in 2015, a quantity which is quickly rising with growing GDP and rising revenue levels. I need to reap the benefits of the growing Internet penetration to profit students by offering them with assets.
I additionally consider learning by way of online assets promotes pc literacy amongst students, a talent which is very important in the workplace for almost any profession path.
Moguldom: How do you juggle medical faculty and operating ElimuTanzania?
Ali Khatau: Juggling a undertaking with being a full-time college scholar is certainly troublesome; juggling it with medical faculty is far more troublesome since there’s all the time a lot more to do and study at med faculty. But aside from time constraints, there’s additionally a monetary load of operating such a venture and being a scholar with no revenue source, this was additionally quite troublesome.
I utilized proper time management methods to ensure I wasn’t losing any second of the day and made probably the most of day-after-day. That’s how I might give a number of hours day by day to the challenge and a few in the direction of med faculty. Time administration is vital for any challenge and I can’t stress this sufficient.
As for the monetary constraints of operating the challenge while still being a scholar, I began the challenge by utilizing private financial savings and after a number of months, I approached an area firm and managed to secure help from them from thereon. I also began promoting medical gear like stethoscopes, thermometers, and blood strain machines to my fellow medical college students and lecturers and made simply enough to be able to sustain the venture. Every one that begins a new venture will definitely face challenges and downfalls on their journey.
The secret is to maintain persisting and persevering until you manage to realize what you set out to do.
Moguldom: What made you need to start ElimuTanzania?
Ali Khatau: The thought for the tutorial platform got here once I spotted many issues in the schooling system in Tanzania over my 13 years as a scholar. These included a scarcity of enough revision supplies. I got here up with easy on-line checks that students might assess their performances freed from charge. There was also problem in accessing past exam papers. Past papers are a very essential resource in getting ready for last exams particularly in Tanzania but obtaining them is troublesome. I needed to make it simpler to obtain these essential assets and with the speedy progress of the Internet, an internet platform appeared the most effective and least expensive method to do so.
Most students use the normal technique where they research with books and pens. On graduating, they’re not acquainted with how computers work resulting in a low pc literacy degree in the nation. Computers and the Web is regarded to be a primary talent all staff should possess and lack of these expertise might even value an applicant a job. Using a web-based platform to entry these assets would additionally enhance pc literacy expertise among college students. Beginning the venture was extremely troublesome as a consequence of lack of monetary assets in addition to help.
I started engaged on the venture in mid-2015 and after virtually eight months of arduous work, I managed to launch the platform in Feb 2016. We secured help from one of the largest East African corporations in October 2016 once we redesigned the platform.
Moguldom: Has it been exhausting getting individuals thinking about an internet instructional platform for Tanzanian secondary faculty students?
Ali Khatau: Initially, once we started the platform in 2016, it was quite troublesome to get students interested and the going was sluggish. I assume this was because we weren’t well-known and established on the time. We ultimately began spreading the phrase concerning the platform among students by way of word-of-mouth however we also used social media including Facebook and Whatsapp to advertise our undertaking and raise extra awareness concerning the platform among students. We managed to get native and international newspapers and websites to put in writing about us and that is how news concerning the platform unfold and we acquired many extra customers. So from a very sluggish and troublesome start, we managed to use certain channels to boost consciousness and we’ve now reached some extent where we now have a big number of users and are making quite an influence.
Moguldom: Can you explain how the location works?
Ali Khatau: Using the location could be very easy and easy. There isn’t a signup/login function used to access assets. You merely select what you need from the homepage and you can start using the assets. Should you want previous papers, you select your grade, the topic and there shall be an inventory of previous papers on the web page which you’ll be able to download and use. If you could do follow exams, merely go to the exams page, choose your grade and the topic you’d wish to apply and start doing the check. There are not any fees to use the platform, its free for all customers. We’ve tried to make it as simple as attainable for college kids who aren’t very used to computers and using EdTech methods and are just getting started.
Moguldom: Have you ever discovered the federal government of Tanzania to be useful to younger entrepreneurs?
Ali Khatau: In certain ways, they have been fairly helpful for example accessing loans for youth teams to spend money on companies. We now have SIDO which is the Small Industries Improvement Organisation which deals with small and young entrepreneurs by helping them go through the documentation processes of registering a business as well as imparting expertise to certain entrepreneurs who want them. Up until a couple of years ago, tech entrepreneurship was not well known and established and never considered essential.
However since a couple of years in the past, the Fee for Science and Know-how (COSTECH) was established and with it, the surroundings for tech entrepreneurship turned rather more friendly and supportive. COSTECH has supported and been concerned in lots of local tech start-ups for the previous few years and so, I have found the federal government to be fairly helpful to young entrepreneurs in recent times.
Moguldom: Has the federal government promoted Internet adoption?
Ali Khatau: Undoubtedly! Because the world has advanced, Web adoption not stays an choice but is extra a necessity because it will get a variety of work achieved, in lesser time using lesser money.
I consider the government realized this and that why many various government techniques use tech and Internet techniques of their every day actions as an alternative of bodily/traditional methods which were in use for therefore lengthy.
Moguldom: What are your objectives for 2019?
Ali Khatau: Quite merely to make a much bigger influence in society via enhancing our providers and attracting more scholar customers.
We hope to succeed in a minimum of 85,000-95,000 users by the top of 2019. We additionally plan so as to add more assets like past papers and revision exams. We have now additionally been inspired to strategy buyers and apply for seed funding which we will use to make a much bigger impression.
Seed funding is something I’m strongly contemplating since it can change the sport for us. We will certainly turn into much a lot greater in a a lot shorter period of time if we’ve the funds. Many international tech giants began small and had their progress accelerated by means of seed funding so It’s a very exciting prospect.
Moguldom: What’s next for you and the company?
Ali Khatau: We purpose to be the most important online schooling platform in Tanzania and goal to ultimately present instructional assets for hundreds of thousands of secondary faculty college students impacting hundreds of thousands of lives and growing examination cross rates as well as pc literacy rates everywhere in the country. We plan to extend the amount as well as the qualities of the tutorial content material we provide and we also plan to make use of numerous methods to make extra college students aware of our providers. We additionally plan to increase to different nations starting with the East African nations of Kenya and Uganda followed by other African nations.