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Smartclass: Born from a life of hardship that led to a life of purpose

kura news02

Although challenges and difficulties are a part of life and are not fair, it takes courage to overcome them in order to support those around you.

Nobody wants to lead a difficult life, but those who do and eventually make significant changes in their lives are aware of the life they left behind and how difficult it is for those who are still doing so, which is why they look for solutions.

Let me tell you the tale of Niyonizeye Abdulrahman, a 26-year-old young man. His early years were not easy. When infrastructure was still lacking, students would study in dubious locations that some might not think existed today.

Some claim that in the past, people were forced to learn lessons the hard way; we are all familiar with those who claim that if you didn’t sit on bricks, you would sit under a tree.

After experiencing such a life, becoming an independent adult, and achieving both personal and financial success, you should consider the needs of those around you and how you can be of assistance. That’s what this young man did.

The founder of Smart Class Ltd., Abdulrahman Niyonizeye, experienced this type of life; while he was still in school, he lacked the financial resources to meet all of his needs. He battled to escape that existence and is currently the director of an organization that promotes educational development.

All high school students in Rwanda who are studying the same subjects will be connected through Smartclass, giving them access to helpful learning resources and qualified instructors.

He made a commitment that, once he graduates from college, he will use technology to bring together students of all ages and educational levels in the same classroom because pursuing an education is such a challenge.

It did not take him long to create a website that links students from across the nation as soon as he finished his studies. For instance, the website can put students from the École Primaire de Gatovu in Nyabihu and the École Belge de Kigali in the same class.

He hopes that the platform will connect students from all over the nation to share knowledge and provide them with equal access to excellent teachers.

The Rwanda Education Board (REB), which was helpful in providing textbooks and other learning materials on the school curriculum, was approached in his quest to build the platform.

They also made contact with various teachers and schools that offered course materials like syllabuses, papers, and exercise books.

While the chosen teacher teaches in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the government, students from the same year can connect online and exchange knowledge. Those who missed the course or did not understand are given the chance to retake it.

Every evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., teachers conduct lessons.

Additionally, this website offers 7-minute lessons in a video format. The videos feature teachers going over material with students, allowing students to efficiently review the lessons.

Niyonizeye was inspired by Smart Class to enter the YouthConnekt award 2022, which was put on by the Ministry of Youth with the intention of highlighting different entrepreneurs with technology-based projects.

At the level of the City of Kigali, Smart Class Ltd. won the competition’s technology category. He received Rwf1 million in prize money to advance his project.

Additionally, the project took home Rwf1.5 million from the 2020 YouthConnekt competition. Additionally, it received compensation for adding 70 jobs during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Niyonizeye claims that this is what has inspired him, and he is prepared to further develop his project and work with numerous Kigali schools.

More than 10,000 users have signed up for this platform so far. The website keeps track of both teachers’ and students’ participation.

“We now have a team of six people who work on a regular basis, and we have worked with more than 128 teachers that we occasionally higher to freelance,” said Niyonizeye.

Smartclass ltd has managed to build up partnerships with REB, and Rwanda Institute of Cooperatives, Microfinance and Entrepreneurship (RICME).

Additionally, the business and MTN-Rwanda have partnered to offer free access to SmartClass services to all MTN sim card holders.

This ambitious young man says he wants his company to be inclusive of young people because he believes they are capable of great things.

“We focus on hiring young people because they are the power of the future,” he said. I learned it from my upbringing.”

It is a program that arose from a realization he had. He believes that some children fail school not because they are stupid, but because schools have different levels of ability.

He claims that some students may succeed in class because they attend a ‘good school,’ but this is a problem that Niyonizeye has promised to solve: “Smart Class will help children to walk together without leaving anyone behind.”

Niyonizeye hopes to work with various schools to improve the quality of education provided to young people throughout the country.

Despite the fact that he has managed to expand the project, capital, and investment to improve the platform on a larger scale across the country. The investment is required to raise awareness about e-learning, train more teachers, and expand the platform’s capacity.

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