Kande is the CEO and co-Founder of Escola Online. In this interview, he spoke to HumanIPO about the startup and the startup community in Mozambique.
HumanIPO: What is your startup all about?
Kande: Escola Online is a school real time platform that will serve as a means to improve school management, approach students and teachers and will allow parents to keep track of their children’s academic performance. The platform also allows students and teachers to share worksheets, assignments, announcements, grades online and more.
Parents and their children (students) will track the performance and educational background of the student such as: Marks, frequencies, absences/attendance, behavior, curriculum schedule of classes, daily schedule of classes, preregistration and enrollment reservations, and more.
This will happen anywhere and anytime 24/7 through GSM Technologies (SMS and USSD, Escola Online Apps) any mobile device that has Internet access (computer, mobile phone, smartphones, tablets, phablets.
What led to the development of Escola?
First was the lack of access to E-learning mechanisms in real time/peer learning and other post-school support mechanisms in Mozambique. There is also little or lack of participation of parents in the schooling of their children (students), and lack of interaction between students and teachers after school.
What difference would your solution make?
The difference is all about we want to meet anyone anywhere through development of several technological solutions (Mobile, web, SMS apps and USSD technology at the same time) in order to respond to local needs. Our solutions are based on Mozambique local needs. Escola Online allow parents to pay school fee payments, teachers produce video lessons/tutorial and we make these video lessons available in the platform and these lessons allow students to get more knowledge about lessons studied in the classroom.
How do you deploy the solution?
Currently the solution is deployed through Android App, Web App and SMS App.
Who are currently using it?
Students, parents and some schools in general.
When was it released, and how many times has it been downloaded so far?
It was released in Beira city the second city of Mozambique in the first test phase this year and 343 it was the limited number of download and this was happens locally. And next year together with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology of Mozambique through the National Fund Investigation Program we will deploy the project in some schools across Mozambique.
What partnerships do you currently have?
Partnerships that we have currently are: Ministry of Science and Technology-MCT of Mozambique through the National Fund Investigation Program, Mined- Ministry of Education, Ensys- Enterprise System and Development.
How successful and impacting do you think your solution would be in the market?
Recently there were more than 200,000 students who failed exams and the cause was pointed the lack of interaction between teachers and students and lack of online learning mechanisms and lack of libraries so we believe that our solution will overcome these problems offering more interactions between teachers and students, offering more interactive contents to students and more. So that will be our success in the market.
Let’s talk about the startup community in Mozambique how is it over there?
It is still very weak but recently Google Developers Groups Communities together with the Ideario Hub signed the partnerships in order to get Mozambique on the World Map of Startups. We have still many things to do but we believe 2015 it will be the year.
What opportunities are available for startups in Mozambique?
There are many opportunities for startups in the sectors such as Education, Health, SMEs, Agriculture and Tourism. For example, Mozambique is one of the most attractive countries when the issue is Tourism. Startups can build restaurants apps, Taxi apps and more. Now with the new resource discoveries, Mozambique has many opportunities for startups.
With numerous opportunities what is preventing startups from really exploring and maximizing them?
Lack of adherence of new technologies, lack of specific skilled labor, lack of specific knowledge about Startups and business development generation in general, lack of participation of Universities and Institutes in this new ecosystem environment of startups.
What’s the way forward for the country?
As I am working with the Ministry for Communication and Technology, Swedish Embassy, some operators partners and more partners we are planning many great things for next 3 years, that part of Hackathons, Intensive and advanced Professional Mobile Development Trainings, etc. I believe we will overcome these challenges and we will put Mozambique on the map. And we will make available some special package of funding for startups in Mozambique.
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