Reports from UNICEF indicate that a significant number of kids on the African continent drop out of school as a result of poor reading and inadequately skilled teachers.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the most numbers of education exclusion of all the continent’s region. More than a fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school, a result that is followed by one-third of them falling between the ages of about 12 and 14.
If taken with levity, the situation may grow worse because the continuous rise in Africa’s school-age population calls for the demand for quality education.
Owing to this development, KidsReadArt, a Nigerian edtech startup is aiming to push the country towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) i.e Quality education.
Founded by Ogechi Ogbaragu, KidsReadArt is a literacy solution provider for kids aged 3-8years. According to the founder, the idea was realized through the accelerator program of the Founder Institute, Lagos.
Ogechi is an Early Years Literacy specialist with more than 8 years of experience in the early years setting.
As an edtech literacy platform, the founder stated that KidsReadArt teaches Pan-African kids aged 3-8yrs to read in very easy steps.
“KidsReadArt will help to meet the SDG 4.2 goal of United Nations that will ensure children in the early years have access to quality early childhood development and are ready for primary education.”
Ogechi explained that her journey into tech began when as a teacher she encountered some difficulties in sourcing some materials she needed for her class lessons.
“I tried creating mine and gradually improved on it to the extent of selling them on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT).”
On what inspired her to start KidsReadArt, she commented that the edtech platform was born out of her desire to see kids reading effortlessly.
“As a teacher who has worked with several schools I’d seen kids struggle to read with parents mount pressures on the teachers to get their kids to read quickly.
I saw the methods practiced by some schools to be frustrating and I wanted to make the experience an enjoyable one for kids.”
Ogechi then decided to find easier means of getting kids to read in very convenient steps.
These steps according to her were practiced with some of the children she coached and they read so fast to the surprise of their parents.
“I then decided to share these with the world to help other kids.”, she added
Ogechi admitted that from the offset she never knew of her eventual career path in tech, according to her, she had always preferred to be an educational consultant and was working towards that goal.
However, she stumbled into the world of technology, when she started designing resources, creating content for parents.
Ogechi also stated that she has been fortunate enough to have found people who believed in her ideas and were willing to help her achieve them from the Founders Institute mentors to Pre-Mest who gave her interns.
Nevertheless, funding has been a challenge for her, as the edtech platform has been largely driven by bootstrapping.
On her Founder Institute experience, Ogechi said that the 14- week accelerator program was quite tough and she thought at a point that she would never graduate.
“The assignments were nerve-wracking just as the live sessions were eye-openers. FI opened my eyes to a lot of the intricacies involved in setting up a sustainable business.
They introduced us to a lot of mentors that shared their experiences on how to succeed in difficult terrain. Altogether FI made KidsReadArt an attainable reality.”
How KidsReadArt works
KidsReadArt is designed to have its lessons in animated videos, interactive games that test the child’s understanding, and a PDF download for a hands-on experience.
The lessons are divided into 4 modules which are developed from simple to complex.
- Module 1 teaches the sounds
- Module 2 teaches kids to read 3 letter words
- Module 3 teaches kids to read 4 letter words
- Module 4 teaches the tricky and complex words
Ogechi stated that the edtech startup is currently at the production stage:
“We are planning to launch out at the completion of the lessons in Module 1 and 2 while Module 3 and 4 is being developed. We hope to use modules 1and 2 to get feedback from our prospective users.”
KidsReadArt products include:
- Animated cartoon characters
- Downloadbale PDF file
- Interactuve word list
- Gamified contents
- Learning exercise
- E-story books
Female representation in tech
To increase female representation in tech, Ogechi said that a lot of women are looking for lucrative side ventures to complement their existing jobs.
“A lot can be achieved by creating awareness campaigns of IT training across social media, enable free IT workshops for women and give support and funding to women who are willing to take the bold step.”
While also speaking on young women considering a future in tech, Ogechi commented:
“It is very tough so are you. You can achieve whatever you put your mind on as no one can stop you but you. If you make a mistake learn from it, move on while you keep reading, researching and practicing.”
KidsReadArt is currently teaching children in the public nursery schools for free using its plan, however, the edtech startup seeks funding.
Featured Image: Ogechi Ogbaragu, Founeder,KidsReadArt
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