Radar | Jun 07,2020
June 14 , 2020
By SEBLE WONDEMAGEGN ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )
A local tech company has developed a web-based, homeschool tutoring application that will assist students in continuing their studies during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has led to the closure of schools across the country.
Sevents Plc developed the Sevents Home Tutor App for public and private school heads, teachers, students and parents. The application, which took four months to finalise, is mainly designed for students in grades five through 12.
Launched three weeks ago, the application is designed in English, and it can be used offline after downloading the course materials and exercises. Developed by three experts, the system enables users to share course materials, upload videos, audio and PDF documents, complete exercises and test questions, submit individual assignments and use chat rooms between students and teachers.
The company began the process of developing the application before the spread of the virus. Still, it was finalised quickly following the spread of COVID-19, according to Tsena Negash, founder and general manager at Sevents Plc, a two-year-old company.
“It’s social media that teachers, students, parents and school staff can interact with,” said Tsena.
Public schools can use the system for free, but private schools who want to be a part of the portal are required to pay a fee for two, three, six months or one year depending on their needs. The application can be used as an optional reference for regular times and during lockdowns of schools. It can also be used for private tutors.
“There wasn’t a school community focused on social media where the school community could interact with each other,” said Tsena. "We're in the process of adding five more languages: Tigrigna, Amharic, Afan Oromo, Somalia and Swahili."
Schools first create their account and subscribe to the portal, then the administrator of the portal assigns teachers and department heads to a specific grade and subject. Sevents charges private schools an average of 50 Br a student as a subscription fee. The system also enables teachers to build their contact information, register students, and upload lessons, exercises and worksheets in the sections provided by the portal.
Before launching the portal, the company conducted a survey and tested the application for its accessibility and uses within schools, according to Tsena.
An educational expert that worked in the sector for four decades appreciates the use of a variety of technologies to keep teaching on track during the pandemic. But he cautions there should be a regulatory mechanism to make sure the materials on such applications are designed in line with the national curriculum.
“These companies should be encouraged," said Tirusew Tefera, a lecturer at Addis Abeba University’s College of Educational & Behavioral Studies. "However, the content should be relevant to the curriculum and has to be regulated."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, several companies have launched digital learning platforms. Cilondis Plc, a local tech firm, has developed the Study Africa Portal for elementary, secondary and preparatory school students to receive content updates from the Addis Abeba Education Bureau via textbook, radio and television. Winner System, a subsidiary of Winner Industrial Engineering, has also developed an online learning management system to help higher education students and teachers continue classes during the pandemic.
Andualem Admassie (PhD), director-general at the Higher Education Relevance & Quality Agency, says that so far they have not registered or given permission to any company to provide online learning management systems.
"No system is transparent and accountable unless it is monitored and evaluated by the government or has secured a quality and standard license," Andualem told Fortune.
The initiative of these companies can be an example of how one purpose can be diverted into another, according to Abebe Mulu, a lecturer at the University of Gonder.
“If they're using a cloud server," he said, "there won't be many limitations, and nowadays cloud servers are recommended for current technology."
Abebe advises that such applications and platforms should be simple to students and must be multilingual.
PUBLISHED ON Jun 14,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1051]
Radar | Jun 07,2020
Fortune News | Aug 17,2019
Fortune News | Feb 08,2020
Radar | Jul 20,2019
Fortune News | Apr 04,2020
Fortune News | Oct 17,2020
Fortune News | Dec 05,2018
Radar | Feb 23,2019
Covid-19 | Mar 28,2020
February 13 , 2021 . By TADESSE TSEGAYE
In Arada, I stopped over by a hotel in front of Cinema Empire. I sat alone inside wit...
January 30 , 2021 . By FASIKA TADESSE
The Council of Ministers approved a regulation that will establish the Liability &...
January 16 , 2021
It was a sunny day on September 12, 1974. A machine gun mounted on top of a tank was...
January 3 , 2021 . By ABDUREZAK LESMAN
Women wearing netela, a white cotton garment with woven coloured borders, and men in...
On November 6, 2020, the Sudanese military carried out unprovoked aggression against...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
February 27 , 2021
That Ethio telecom would remain in the hands of the state was never a sure deal. A ra...
February 20 , 2021
The late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was in parliament in 2010, taking questions on h...
February 13 , 2021
What most spooked buyers owning a billion dollars of Ethiopia’s Eurobonds was not a...
February 6 , 2021
The feeling of helplessness; the confusion to understand what is unfolding; and the d...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
Sometimes two close friends get into a heated argument in front of us, and we are asked to step in and play the role of referee. This presen...
Or see contact page