A university degree is like Olympic wreath, it’s a major adult life achievement, that makes one a demi god. Walk tall, walk proud, enjoying the moment.
Once on a sunny day, along a dusty street. I met an elderly acquaintance- Uche, he spoke to me of his daughter, Ego. He desired that she would be crowned with a college degree just like mine. I saw on his face, love for his daughter, full of expectation but clouded with uncertainty. Filled with empathy, knowing that crossing the hurdles of secondary education and gaining entry into a choice university is a herculean task.
Statistics reveals that 31.2% barely pass Math and English in West Africa Examination Council (WAEC 2014), a major prerequisite to gain admission into any tertiary institution. Why do students fail so massively?
Students fail due to poor academic performance, enhanced by a lack of interest in learning, because being studios is no more fashionable. Being a music or movie star is the latest fad, the unchaste cravings for entertainment impairs their learning minds. This got me thinking for days and days; I felt like an inventor experimenting, and then more like Mongo Park navigating the deep of the Niger. Eureka! I found a Cape of Good Hope.
The idea birthed *magbodo.com (*Don’t get zeros). An Online Computer Based Test (CBT) platform for students seeking tertiary education, enhanced with gaming features that allows for continuous practice in a fun way. Shared the idea with a couple of friends; took a Web Development course, designed and built a working prototype in 3 months. Tested our product assumption with over 600 students; through the feedback and report collected, we modified the product. In July 2015 we had 238 new users and 2,751 tests played.
How has this helped student? The more student practice questions driven by a gaming experience, the more their retentiveness through gaming experience is maintained. Students love to play, get rewarded on our social CBT Platform. Since inception we are yet to generate revenue, but we use our pocket money to reward three outstanding students weekly. We do this because; we have seen how competitive game-driven practice helps students improve academically. I delayed getting a Nine-Five Job to complete the mobile app version, so students can pay Fifty Naira to a Hundred naira to gain access to better gaming features.
Fund generated from ads and sales of game gadgets on our platform will create jobs for educators that provide detailed solutions to various questions. We plan to expand to junior secondary and other entrance exams.
Every morning I wake up; write software codes to ensure a wreath would adorn their heads soon. I feel fulfilled doing this.
This was the story magbodo.com submitted for British Council Challenge 2016