An engaging online learning platform in Uganda is bringing education to those who can’t physically access learning institutions. The Yaaka Digital Learning Network is a forum, an academic resource, a job listing, a tutoring aid and a peer-to-peer knowledge sharing platform all in one.
Developed by Hindu Nabulumba and her team at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, Yaaka is designed like an interactive social network, where teachers and students can share academic knowledge and materials. It allows skilled teachers to tutor remotely and earn extra income, and its users benefit from each other’s experience and guidance.
The network, which was launched in March 2015, already has around 11,000 users. Students and teachers range from pre-primary school to university level, and academic, social or extracurricular activity materials are shared in the form of text, audio, audio-visual or video content. Online classes are also held for those with internet-connected devices. Students and teachers just need to register to access or offer learning materials.
Content that is being shared on the platform ranges from maths, biology and chemistry to theology, documentary film production, human resource management and nursing.
Nabulumba is very conscious that many people do not have reliable internet access, particularly in Uganda’s rural areas. To circumvent this problem, her team has customised an offline version of the network on tablets. This opens the platform up to users in rural areas.
The platform currently contains Ugandan syllabus content for Ugandans, by Ugandans.
The innovators hope to develop the platform and tablets for each African country in the near future.
The team also encourages users and experts to give feedback about how they can improve the learning platform.
Nabulumba was recently invited to present Yaaka to HRH The Duke of York in London in March, at Pitch@Palace. This platform allows entrepreneurs to pitch their technology solutions to an audience of global influencers.
She has also recently been chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, and will compete for the award in Nairobi on 23 May 2017.