Many parents are constantly looking for a way to best empower their kids and at times this empowerment takes the form of one on one tutoring with a goal to optimize a child’s grades. Would you be excited if I told you that soon it will be possible for your child to take their tutoring lessons online?
If you’re still reading this article I’m assuming the answer for you was yes. An educational platform called Mytutorzim is looking to make online tutoring a thing in Zim and their story is quite interesting.
One of the founders of Mytutorzim –Laurin Mariani- was forced to contemplate of ways to get her children the extra tuition they need whilst balancing this with her own busy schedule. It dawned on Laurin that the best way to go about that might actually using the internet and getting tutoring for her kids online. This is popular in other parts of the world but it’s yet to take off locally and Laurin felt that this concept is ready to take off in Zim and hence she started working on the platform.
Essentially, Mytutorzim is a mediator between teachers and students. They will of course verify and work hand in hand with the teachers but the platform is focused on bring together students and teachers to one place. I would liken it to YouTube which brings together content producers and viewers, yet YouTube itself isn’t in the business of making content themselves. It’s kind of similar.
What gap does Mytutorzim aim to cover?
At the time of writing, Mytutorzim is yet to go live and currently they are still registering teachers with a slight bias to retired or unemployed teachers as they have more flexible schedules as compared to full-time teachers. This does not however mean that they are not taking teachers who are currently working and if you are interested in registering as a teacher you send an email with your CV and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway, when Mytutorzim does eventually hit the market, it will be a platform that connects the student with their tutor online at a time that is convenient for the student. The benefit of this means parents don’t have to alter their schedules as there is a lot of mobility offered simply because it is an online solution. Classes will be conducted via webcam but it will be interesting to see how exactly this format of teaching is executed.
Though pricing is not yet confirmed for students it will be in the range of $15-$35 per lesson. Why is there a range you may ask? This is determined by the tutor as some may charge different Rates depending on the knowledge and level they are at. For the student to search is completely free. It is then between them and the tutor to discuss a pricing.
For teachers, initially access to the platform will be free but once the platform has reached a certain capacity teachers will get to be charged. Laurin disclosed that these charges will be minimal:
…once the platform has reached its capacity it will then charge a very minimal monthly rental to the tutors to have their profile displayed. The monthly rental will be no more than the cost of one online lesson. The goal is to create employment for those teachers currently unemployed or retired and so there will be no need to charge a large fee for such a simple service for the children.
Why will people use this service?
Because we are yet to actually see this service in action, we had to direct a lot of questions to Laurin in order to better understand how things will go. One of the biggest questions to ask when it comes to businesses is why will people actually use this platform? Laurin explained that she felt because this was the first platform of this kind and the convenience offered was unmatched that would be the reason to use this platform.
Is Zim ready for e-Learning?
That is a big question that so far, no one seems to have managed to answer. As far back as 2015, there have been e-learning platforms such as Shona-Ndebele Tutor, which utilised Skype and Wagona Maths from last year but is not clear how these platforms are doing.
Some of the questions we have to ask include; do the people have the resources to get their tutoring facilitated online? Data costs are prohibitive so that’s always something to look at when assessing e-learning in Zimbabwe. Also, do parents trust this medium of learning yet? Not to say that e-learning platforms are doing badly in Zimbabwe but has e-learning taken off on a scale that allows parents who are normally sceptical of these technological platforms to finally trust the internet and trust it to a point where they actually send their children in their number to these platforms. We will see.
Mytutorzim is in its infancy and because teacher registration is still underway, this article is not an endorsement of the quality of tutoring you or your child will get on Mytutorzim as that is not yet clear at the time of writing.