The venture seeks to engage African students in a manner that is culturally relevant, and responds to the syllabi in their respective countries specifically serving African needs across board.
Founded in 2019 by Shagaya and headquartered in Lagos with a production studio in Jos, uLesson plans to go to market in February 2020 in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia.
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“We’re targeting Anglophone West Africa… for a market of effectively 300 million people,” he told TechCrunch.
The app incorporates mobile platforms, SD cards, culture-specific curriculum and a network of teachers to bridge educational gaps for secondary school students in Nigeria and Africa.
In a press statement, Shagaya said: “Education systems across Africa are in crisis and uLesson has been developed to radically shake-up the system and bring better access to high-quality curriculum-relevant educational content to learners across the continent. As our population grows extremely rapidly, the current public and private approach to education investment is chasing a goal that is moving further away. We want to lower the entry point for access to education for young Africans, and technology is the only way this challenge will be met.”
“We have this massive gap…We’re adding more babies in this country nominally than all of Western Europe…Even if the Nigerian government was super-efficient, it couldn’t catch up with the educational needs of the young people that are coming up,” Shagaya added.
Ido Sum and Omobola Johnson, partners in TLcom’s executive team, will join the board alongside former Konga CEO, Shola Adekoya.
“We work collaboratively, passionately & relentlessly, utilizing every tool available, to deliver high quality affordable education to all Africans. Education, Financial Inclusion & Health need to be tackled on the continent. Remarkable progress in developing financial products has been made. Of the other two, Education represents an immediate opportunity that can be addressed with the tools provided by digital technology (smartphones, wireless internet, data storage and analytics). uLesson believes it has a model that can work in substantially addressing these challenges.”
The dearth of quality teachers, tutors and educational infrastructure on the continent, according to Shagaya, represents a ticking “youth bomb” for the region’s unprecedented demographic growth.