Swaby who lives on the Roc has created an amazing online game that will undoubtedly ease the minds of parents whose kids heads are permanently down and fixated on their smartphones. While it is noted there are several tools available in North America where kids can play and learn simultaneously, doing so in preparation for exams at a certain level I am not aware of. It is commendable when our youths engage themselves in entrepreneurship ideas followed by fruition. We get lost in our media reporting and can tend to focus on the mundane until the news is picked up in ‘foreign’ quarters.
Looking ahead, as we say good job to Swaby, how about creating a segment on local television where youths who are entrepreneurs can be featured with a view to encouraging those unemployed to think outside of being employed and more of being their own boss? As we spread this message, it makes sense to show the youths who are productive and not keep blaming any government for their financial welfare. Surely they can be an inspiration to those who are certified yet unemployed.
Jamaican online education platform featured on BBC
(Jamaica Observer) Friday, April 15, 2016
Edufocal, the online learning platform created by Jamaican Gordon Swaby, was featured by the BBC on its website on April 5.
The article, headlined ‘Turning school exams into an online game in Jamaica’, was written by BBC correspondent Nick Davis and explained the concept behind Edufocal as well as its expansion vision.
“The firm makes studying more like a computer game, where pupils compete and their high scores are the tests results,” Davis wrote.
Edufocal is designed to help children sitting the annual Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) which, based on their scores, determines which secondary school they attend.
The BBC story reports Swaby as saying that the Edufocal programme is “like a video game” in which students compete for the top spot.
“For many, it is not school work, it’s playing,” Swaby is quoted before explaining that students using the programme start on level one on all the subjects. To move up, they need to answer the questions correctly.
“They can win prizes, whether it’s a movie ticket, food vouchers, mobile credit. That’s the cultural element to it; Jamaicans love to win stuff, they love incentives,” the story quotes the 25-year-old Swaby who started the business four years ago.
Accordong to the BBC, Edufocal was not Swaby’s first online venture as he launched a video game website from his home in central Jamaica when he was a teenager.
Today, he employs four people full-time and two part-time with Edufocal, while teachers across Jamaica are paid to write content for the platform, the BBC reported.
Upon subscription, Edufocal gives students access to 23,000 exams in the core subjects tested by the GSAT – mathematics, languages, arts, science, social studies, and communication.
Students whose parents purchase the Sunday Observer each week are able to access the platform as an access code is published in the Career and Education magazine weekly.
“Once on the site, they can go through hundreds of tests, get feedback on the ones they got wrong, and also see how well they’re doing on a leader board – creating competition among thousands of pupils,” the BBC story said.
The story also said that Swaby is looking to enter new markets, among them Trinidad, Barbados, and Ghana that share a similar curriculum to Jamaica.
“The company is also looking to add more features to the platform to help students and educators,” the BBC reported.