E-learning site to fill in for syllabus flaws

BriteSkills, a Kenyan startup, aims to enable students and interested learners to acquire and share new skills anytime anywhere through lessons shared by specialists in a domain field.

The startup, introduced last year November with the first development phase completed three months later, uses its website Briteskills.com to offer an online learning experience.

“We introduced the product to the market in mid February with the goal of getting user’s feedback which we would integrate into the next development phase. Tutors and students have been very instrumental in shaping up the product we have today and continue to,” Joe Okatch, Co-Founder of BriteSkills told HumanIPO.

Okatch explained there was a need to come up with the project since school syllabi may not often cover some skills. Additionally, some potential learners find some courses expensive to pursue.

“For example, a civil servant who may want to learn how to use a computer for office duties but doesn’t have the time to wait for a certificate because it will not help her anyway, or a young boy who wants to learn how to play guitar but the parents cannot afford tuition fees at the music schools,” Okatch said.

BriteSkills ensures volunteer tutors are well informed and can offer up to standard courses on the platform by working with lecturers from learning institutions. The site also allows user reviews from past students.

“The web platform has also seen lots of improvements as well as the mobile version of the website. This will help to ensure that no tutor or student is locked out of our services because of their mobile phone family,” Okatch explains.

To date, the product has over 40 tutors and 28 courses offered on the platform. Its American competitor, SkillShare has accumulated over 15,000 hours of learning on their platform.

This is to show how successful e-learning can become in the future, says Okatch.

BriteSkills came to the fore when they became the second runners in this year’s,Ignite Hackathon held in early March. The team won $3,000 (appx KSh240,000) beating over 80 other applicants.

The e-learning platform plans to introduce an iPhone and Android app by May this year. It is also testing the platform on different Nokia handsets.

“We are targeting a broader market, the whole world, but we have to start with Kenya, then East Africa, as we refine the product to cover a larger market then we scale out to Africa and the whole world. For now the resources we have enabled us to scale our product to cover Kenya and that is fair for our little experience,” Okatch said.

The development of ICT skills to spur education has been a key agenda for learning institutions in Kenya. Early this year, Inoorero University introduced e-learning, a conventional education system embracing ICT in learning.

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