An online platform connecting learners to nearby tutors - The Citizen

An online platform connecting learners to nearby tutors

Tuesday April 30 2019

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

Technology has become an integral part of our life as most things done digitally. This has tremendously simplified millions of tasks. Teaching students how to use technology and its applications is very beneficial to all. The learning process has been simplified by technology. Students can easily access learning materials online as long as they have computers or any other smart gadget such as cellular phones connected to internet.

Instead of carrying a pile of text books, exercise books or past exam papers when heading to the classroom, just a laptop or a smart phone can serve the purpose. This is what Salvatory Kessy, an assistant lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, calls ‘SmartClass’. He came up with the idea in order to help solve problems for pupils, students and other people.

SmartClass is an online platform that connects learners to nearby qualified tutors. It comprises of web and mobile applications, which connect students to the private tutors of their choice. It enables people to learn anything they want, anywhere.

According to him, SmartClass mission is to make learning possible to everyone. In this case, SmartClass platform ensures students and other people get tutors they trust. The platform is safe and secure, and assists a student to learn at his/her pace. Private tutors can teach learners at their home’s sitting rooms, online or at an agreed place.

“SmartClass aims at supporting as many learners as possible to achieve their own learning goals. The platform targets to attract more than 10,000 qualified tutors in Tanzania, who will be teaching more than 300 subjects. Both tutors and learners can register for FREE at www.smartclass-tz.com,” he notes.

Due to advancement in technology, enrolment in online learning programmes has grown over the past few years, with more than a quarter of students enrolled in at least one online course, says Kessy.

The online learning platform offers almost everything that prospective learners need. “People can access learning materials at their finger tips,” he explains. “If you want to learn how to dance, cook, engage yourself into farming activities, to name just a few, what you need to do is to enroll yourself to a SmartClass platform and there you can get what you want,” says Kessy.

Positive move

Innocent Maduhu, an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, commended the initiative, saying it is a positive move towards learning.

He is one among many beneficiaries of the platform as he has already registered as a tutor and has been connected to one online registered student.

“I registered myself into the platform around end of January this year and by the beginning of February, I connected to an undergraduate student, who is currently enrolled for a Bachelor degree at University of Dar es Salaam’s Business School,” he says.

“I work at the department of Mathematics teaching Courses in Actuarial Science degree program. Currently I have one student. But I have taught 5 students before,” he adds.

Hub for learners

For Maduhu, being an Assistant Lecturer, the platform has everything one needs not only for both learning and teaching various subjects but also it connects learners and tutors in various fields.

“I personally intend to register as a student in order to find swimming trainers,” he says, encouraging others to join this platform as tutors or students as “there are different things one may wish to know, learn or educate others.”

Nicholous James, a secondary school teacher based in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region, feels that the online learning platform will improve provision of quality education. James, who teaches Physics and Advanced Mathematics subjects, says he uses the platform to help students who need assistance in learning.

“I teach them extra-tuition classes through the platform, and I have students from different parts of Moshi like KCMC, Rau, Mjoroni, Mbokomu and Majengo areas. The good thing about this platform is you can learn different things from entrepreneurial skills to vocational training,” he says.

Mary Mosha, a University of Dar es Salaam student studying Journalism and Mass Communication, says the platform has made her life easy as it connects her with different people sharing the same dream.

“I’m a baker. I teach a baking and decorating class. I have several students as a result of the platform,” she says.

Catheline Joshua, an entrepreneur, says despite being a useful platform, it needs one to fill in a lot of details when registering.

Kessy, the founder of the platform, says according to the online survey done by SmartClass, more than 70 percent of the people interviewed said it is difficult to get very qualified tutors to teach them or their children.