South African Edu-tech startup, FoondaMate has launched in Nigeria to give students access to online learning resources. This will be done in multiple languages through low-data instant messaging applications like Whatsapp and Facebook.
With its local WhatsApp Number, Nigerian students can access localized learning materials, such as junior and senior WAEC examination papers from previous years.
The company’s bot is on both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. However, people prefer the WhatsApp bot to the one on Facebook because it is easier to access.
FoondaMate was introduced by Tao Boyle and Dacod Magagula two years ago to address the inequities in the South African educational system.
Unlike most edu-tech on the continent, FoondaMate is not a standalone platform. It is a chatbot on the instant messaging app, such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
With the chatbot, students can chat to get assistance with their homework or practice for exams without leaving the messaging app.
This is so cool because it is a perfect fit for those who cannot afford access to the wider internet. As of now, the company can only provide past questions for the WAEC. However, it is working to expand its curriculum to include many different exam levels.
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How FoondaMate Works
FoondaMate chatbot works in the same way you chat with your friend. All you need to do is to message the specialized WhatsApp number or Facebook ID to begin a conversation.
You can send any message to FoondaMate, it will fetch and summarize relevant information from the internet and send it as a response. Questions are also not exempted (e.g., what is photosynthesis?)
You can also request for examination of past questions such as WAEC Biology 2014 and immediately, the bot will reply to you with the PDF of the requested material. You can also download, share or save if you want.
No matter the subject you are requesting, you will get the PDF or step-to-step solution to them be it Mathematics or physics. Asides from all these features, students can also search for words they are not familiar with to get the meaning.
What is FoondaMate Saying?
The Edu-tech is so elated with the feedback they are getting from Nigerian users. Speaking on this, FoondaMate Co-founder, Tao Boyle said,
“Nigerian students don’t hold back. They tell you exactly what they think as soon as they see it. At first, we thought it would be difficult to get feedback, but it’s been completely the opposite.”
He also talked about the student’s response to the product.
“Students sign up and on the same day they email us telling us how they love the product and recommending other things they would like to see on the platform”
They also promised to continue using the app to meet the needs of Nigerian students on all levels.
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