Inspiration

The Story of Godfrey

Godfrey always has time for his students, even when his salary was being withheld, he never lost sight of his top priority - the incubation of the young who are the future of Kenya.

As recently as 2 months ago, tens of thousands of primary and secondary school teachers were forced to strike and fight for what they deserve against an ill-budgeted government. Unfortunately, teachers were not the only ones harmed. Twelve million students in publics schools were home as schools shut down.

If Godfrey had one wish during this time, it would have been to continue to support his students, some of whom were preparing for the all important nationally standardized test. He couldn’t, because he had to take up 2 part-time jobs to pay for his basic necessities.

Godfrey is the rule, not the exception.

But even as students’ academic prospects suffered, parents struggled to find a way to get involved. They needed a scalable and accessible way to directly support capable and passionate teachers in the community like Godfrey, strike or otherwise. Asante Mwalimu is our solution. It is a crowdfunding/tipping platform, designed for parents and other interested parties to directly support local teachers on a job well down (similar to the concept of tipping in restaurants but done Anonymously)

What it does

The platform has 3 aspects, the SMS/USSD aspect for parents and guardians, the Smart Phone aspect for teachers to enter data and the Web Portal (http://asantemwalimu.com/admin username: demo, password: demo).

  • USSD/SMS - Parents will get up to date information about their children's performance, they will then be able to send positive comments to teachers and send them a tip through the M-pesa platform.
  • Smartphone Aspect - Due to the higher mobile penetration rate in Kenya as compared to computers, the mobile app will allow teachers to enter student data and then to send the grades to parents. Teachers are also able to view any additional income and comments through the platform as well as their rating.
  • Web portal - This will provide access to Admins such as NGOs, Economic Groups and Government Officials access to the teacher data. This will be a unique data source as will act as a rating system (based on income, number of comments and class size) for teachers by parents themselves and can provide information to influence policies and to target training programs.

How We Built It

  • Web portal was build with django and is hosted on digital ocean.
  • SMS (mocks USSD functionality) was built using twilio based on the rapidsms module.
  • Smart phone aspect was built with the Ionic Framework.
  • The main repository was in github.
  • Project management was done with Asana.
  • The Database diagrams and flow charts was done with https://www.lucidchart.com/.

Challenges We Ran To

  • Lack of USSD support in North America.
  • Setting up the Twilio account to mimic USSD was a bit complicated.
  • Little sleep

Accomplishments that we are proud of

  • Having an SMS application that is working.
  • Having a mobile app that works.
  • Having a web portal where Officials can view the data.
  • Getting to work with each other as our team was made up of 2 business developers and 3 software developers.

What's Next

  • Add the required USSD functionality.
  • Finish the smart phone app.
  • Add api endpoints for data analysis.
  • Add charting capability for data analysis.
  • Integrate with M-pesa.
  • Pursue and attempt to implement the solution in Kenya.
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