Worlds large number of students study in urban cities, with centralised educational opportunities. But but countries of South and West asia has different situation than any developed country of world. If we check census almost 65%+ of population live in very underprivileged rural areas. These countries are still unable to provide satisfactory quality education even in urban cities. Pakistan is one of them and has little worse situation. According to UNDP report, Pakistan is struggling with its large out-of-school population, including 5.6 million children out of primary schools – a number greater than population of many developed countries. Pakistan’s population mostly lives in rural areas. Few students from these areas are privileged enough to make into schools. Even if students from rural manage to get study, resources are not enough for them to get quality education, Teachers are not very well qualified as in developed countries. Institutions are located far away from their homes and aren’t affordable.
** If we are able to solve the one country’s problems it will be solution for all those countries as well.**
Deeply being impacted by these grim realities, I and my friend wanted to eliminate this menace of illiteracy. We began by individually teaching and motivating students difficult subjects like Science, Maths and English whenever we travel back to our village. But! soon we realised, despite our tireless efforts, we aren’t been able to achieve the something we hoped for. We were reaching just few students , which was too slow pace to make a considerable difference. So, we decided to formulate a strategy that will help us to touch millions of lives. It is only possible by creating a platform where more volunteer teachers and students will connect, that will essentially speed up the building process of community and saves the time.
But there is one large problem that many rural areas are without internet connection but almost all of them have mobile network coverage. So, the greatest challenge was creating a platform that would not only operate online but offline to target those areas.
After discussing all the variables, we came with an idea of creating an app called ‘Naata’, which means connection or relation. The goal wasn’t just about creating an online community but an offline one, based on deeper connection and understanding, that will proactively fulfill the educational needs of students.
Our greatest resource are the college and university students. Students in respective classes have vacations at different times of the year, particularly after finishing semester or annual exams. There is also free time in summer (upto 3 months) and winter vacations. Those students (volunteer teachers) will dedicate some of their time to teach those students in need. Those teachers will register themselves over the app, specifying their available days, timings and subjects to teach. They have also an option of manual registration, where they can register in case they are facing any problem. They will be added by a city ambassador after moderation. Students requiring classes will be required to register through the app or offline messaging. They will also specify their educational needs and be able to contact the teacher in their area.
What it does
“Naata” a urdu word for connection. Naata is an iPhone and Android mobile application built to educate and build less privilege rural communities. It connects less privileged students of rural areas to higher education students (when they are available in same city ). So a student can register online on app or offline by messaging. Online Registration with facebook Offline sending sms to app. Message will be published in feed and user will be added to database after teacher visits to him. “City Name”, “Username” and “What he needs to learn” to number “xxxx” All Message will be filtered citywise and Message will be sent to app and appropriate registered student(volunteer teacher) available in the same city will be notified. Later they will meet and discuss their plan of study. Their messages will also be displayed in a feed.
Moreover, many schools in rural areas can be registered with Naata program. This will more effectively manage the teachers, students and curriculum to make the process more efficient and grow community by engaging them in activities.
How we built it
Naata utilizes: -Facebook's technologies like React Native for the development of cross platform mobile app and Facebook Login for Two-tap account creation using your Facebook Profile.
-Firebase realtime database to store messages of teachers and students..
-Redux for communication with firebase and Push Notifications to notify individual about new message
Challenges we ran into
We ran into three major challenges: 1- learning React-Native and Redux programming experience helped us but time was limited. 2- Simplicity- It shouldn’t be more than 3-5 screens, concise enough to include everything required. Ease of navigation and intuitive user experience. 3- Offline Experience- At least It’s hard for us now to implement but we are working on it. It is an integral functionality that will allow scalability and wide reach of the program. We tried to do it with twillio but need to pay for it to receive sms. Learning curve and a server for deployment. Hence not implemented yet
Accomplishments that we're proud of
1-Earlier we didn’t know we can develop an app at our own by using React Native and even it will work on both iOS and Android, learning React Native and developing this app was great accomplishment by itself but.
2-Proud moment started when we disclose this idea “App” to fellow students and our parents they were amazed and wanted to be part of community and isn’t it proud that we got something(peoples) we were struggling for.
What we learned
We learned React Native and Redux to build mobile apps and Facebook Login for Two-tap account creation using Facebook Profile and authentication of user. All this made us able to make MVP of App.
-implementing new and improving the current features of app.
-offline functionality of app i.e send message to app from keypad mobile.
-Further simplify the connecting process.
Zayn-ul-Abdin Hassan Javaid