The Journey so Far
On the 28th of April, 2013, I was in faraway katsina-ala, one of the 23 local governments in Benue State, North-central Nigeria. I was under-going a course online at HarvardX University on www.edx.org. While I enjoyed the subject matter on climate change, there were (as always) Nigerian factors to contend with; chief of which were power supply and expensive Internet. It should suffice to say that I dropped out of the course much later.
Around this same time, the then honorable minister of education; Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai disclosed a fact that kept me awake half the night. My mind denied the highly desired and much-needed rest my body carved. She said, “The entire space we have is 520,000. If one million (students) pass, what are we going to do with the rest 500,000 (students)”. According to the statistics released, about 1.6 million candidates sat for the examinations across 3127 centers in Nigeria and 6 additional centers outside Nigeria. You may read more here: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/minister-allays-fears-as-jamb-holds-utme-nationwide/146154/
I have not come to bore you with statistics that can be easily obtained on Google. I have come to share with you something that cannot be found on Google; how a solution to the above dilemma was born.
After a long period of brainstorming and expensive long-distance phone calls, a solution was still not appearing to come forth two months later, so I gave up. One evening, I sat chatting on my Tecno N3, the then rave of the moment for low-budget spenders like myself. I remember asking my very good friend, Sarah Manthe to teach me Spanish. She wondered how I intended to learn Spanish using a chat application. I persuaded her to try and soon I could say “Buenos Dias”. A week later, an idea was born in my head; if I could learn Spanish using a chat application, so also could many other people and if I could succeed at teaching Spanish using chat, I could also succeed at teaching any other subjects provided the conditions were right.
Quickly, with excitement and Adrenaline pumping through my veins, I rushed to my residence and placed a call to Ifeoluwa Abayomi; one of the best french professionals I know. We drafted a plan and I put word out on twitter for a DEMO to test my Idea. Thanks to a single retweet from Alibaba-GCFR, The DEMO had 8 Volunteers, one of whom was from Uganda.
The DEMO had 89% success and ChatClass NG (formerly Fleuri Consults) was born.