Enhanced registration options will be available by May 1, following the first launch of the After-Class community where teachers and students can both engage with social education.
Through an aspect of gamification, the network enables members by bridging the education gap in South Africa.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Bryan Vlok, chief executive officer and founder at After-Class, said: “The education is just a joke at the moment. Everyone is pointing fingers.”
The upgraded version will have “a more powerful sense of community”, similar to the Facebook platform.
Where the first version was quite forum-based, the second version will have a news feed which provides questions or content according to specified user subject or grade.
After-Class is one six startups currently part of the Seed Engine accelerator programme in Johannesburg.
Presently offering material on 24 subjects, including drama and visual art, Xhosa will also be added to the new version as a fifth language.
Focusing on high school pupils from grade 10 to 12, students are rewarded for participation rather than prestige.
Vlok said: “Every student who sits in class has lost agency because all they do is make mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. They just don’t care anymore, but they have got to realise it’s up to them.”
Rather than giving demotivational grades, students who engage with notes or other lecture material makes progress through level upgrades and earning points to obtain more downloads.
Helping a friend will enable a student to earn double points.
“It’s all about peer to peer support because there is not enough time in the day for teachers to teach a kid what needs to be taught,” Vlok said.
“It’s now acting as an external motivator for students to engage with their studies outside of the classroom and help each other and in doing so we can also help the teachers to help each other.”
An exclusive platform is also available for teachers where they can share lecture notes, videos for classroom notes or even tests and memorandums.
With features such as note rating by votes and academic purchases available for struggling students, After-Class aims to rekindle educational enthusiasm and responsibility among school pupils, as well as assist teachers to improve quality time in classrooms.
The reward system is focused on turning content into a currency that has to be earned through active engagement.
“We are taking a different approach where we want to create a community where people are helping each other so we are focusing on the human resource element rather than the content,” Vlok explained.
After-Class will be pitching for second round funding at the Seed Engine Demo Day, in Johannesburg, on Friday, May 5.