The latest development around Sim Shagaya’s education project, uLesson, is no doubt fascinating as the ex-Konga boss secures a fresh $3.1 million investment funding.
While reports have stated that the funding was to power the online college idea he ventured into early this year, there is more for the world to consider on the prospect of Sim Shagaya’s ambition.
As the news continues to make rounds online, what is most striking is that his journey to transform education through the infusion of technology to enhance learning appears well conceptualised.
Like most visible online learning platforms such as Coursera and Udemy, the Sim Shagaya team looks set to build a product for Africa that completely shifts from the traditional education setup where players have to invest heavily in physical infrastructures such a buildings, school buses and teaching aids. Sim Shagaya’s idea, instead, is to own and run a cloud college where classes and sessions can be digital and on-demand.
The question to ask if Nigeria or Africa is ready for such distruptive innovation, considering the developmental level of internet infrastructures and the niche uLesson would cater for. However, if the team succeeds in its ambition, West Africa would have digital contents for students in high schools, and Africans can develop more cultural inclusive curriculum for pupils through the initiative.
In the school business, while traditional school administrators might continue to face challenges of staff salary monthly payment, Sim Shagaya would only have to worry about upgrading his contents to reflect current events and latest development. He won’t have to worry about school buses, college uniform and adminstrative logistics. This way, the project can make millions from a single video lesson without incurring an extra cost.
What is uncertain, however, is if Sim Shagaya would build such an intensive system that will document the study progress of a pupil as to prepare graduates and finishers for WAEC and GCE papers. Beyond offering lessons on Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics etc, will uLesson be a mere tutorial centre of a sort, or a full college facility?
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