South Africa: Teacher Introduces App To Assist South African Students In Preparing For Exams

Tech World

Sept. 25, 2020, 4:23 p.m.

Marie De Wet, a South African Life Sciences teacher, has rolled out an edtech web based app, to assist students in preparing for examinations.

The app, Examsta, aims to provide learners with an accessible learning tool that offers an alternative and more effective way of studying.

Examsta is currently in the testing phase and provides study material for the South African, CAPS, and IEB high school exams.

Marie says she got the inspiration for the app while learning the Catalan language through Duolingo.

“I thought: why am I wasting so much class time teaching content when kids could just learn content via an app. My thinking was that class time should be used for deeper learning activities like engaging in debates, doing practicals, and running simulations”, she explained.

She also added that, “Following a family tragedy in October 2018, I finally decided to throw caution to the wind (or ‘YOLO’ as we said back in 2012) and set about building an app for learning exam content

Marie’s self-funded her project in 2018, after teaching herself enough programming to build a functional prototype, and later hiring a front end and back end developer to take over the app while she built the content from scratch.

She funds Examsta by working on other projects with other companies even though she has made a few attempts to seek funding.

According to her, she created Examsta for “content-heavy” subjects such as Geography and History since most e-learning platforms focus on Physical Science.

The app also has questionnaires for students in Grade 10, 11, and 12 Life Science and is free for users. Examsta provides students with various quizzes that are in the South African school syllabus. Each quiz is set to have ten to fifteen multiple-choice questions and comes with explanations and diagrams to explain answers.

She noted that it was tricky finding interactive content for Life Sciences because online resources are typically focused on Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics).

Marie has already implemented Examsta in some selected schools in Cape Town, and has recorded a total number of 500 students who have tested the app.

She hopes to add History and Geography by the end of 2020. Users can access all the available study material for a yearly subscription fee of R100. A teacher’s platform will also be introduced on the app to assist learners and monitor their progress.

“Learners have had a tumultuous year, full of interruptions, challenges, and stress. Examsta promises to give them a helping hand, making sure that they can easily access learned information and reduce test anxiety for their all-important matric finals”, Marie further stated.

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Dorcas Benewaa Author

Dorcas is an upcoming journalist. She loves the creative arts and loves to write about startups, digital arts and issues in the tech sector.