Cameroonian startup MooExams is aiming to positively impact educational outcomes in Africa by gamifying the process of learning and preparing for examinations.
“It capitalises on young people’s love of technology to boost engagement in education, improving skills while having fun,” co-founder Christian Yves Fongang told Disrupt Africa.
MooExams’ interactive content includes a directory of courses, questions and answers on different subjects consistent with the local educational curriculum. Students are motivated to improve their skills through online competitions, and all content for games is provided by teachers, who refer the app to students and are rewarded based on the performance of the students they refer.
“The teachers enrich the platform with content by using an interactive and gamified system. Through that gamified platform, they are not just submitting content, they are also able to anonymously review content provided by others,” Fongang said. “Parents are also welcome to follow their children’s progress through MooExams.”
The platform was conceived in 2016, when members of the SDK Games team were, as parents, concerned about the level of interest their children were taking in school and realised that was the same for many others.
“In Cameroon, according to the Baccalaureate Office board, more than 50 per cent of students failed their national exam and up to 72 per cent are failing in other African countries,” said Fongang.
“Meanwhile, children are attracted to games, and they are also very enthusiastic about technologies and smartphones. Having discovered the power of gamification in the learning process while building a gamification campaign for a corporation, we applied this knowledge to the MooExams project. We strongly believe this should be used the make the learning process easier and more fun for our children.”
In Cameroon, a bilingual country, MooExams is ahead of the curve, but though there are competitors in other African countries, none of them use the platform’s unique gamification features for students and teachers. The self-funded startup, which makes money through subscriptions and targeted advertising, has already registered more than 3,000 students in Cameroon, and is looking further afield.
“We signed a contract with Orange Burkina Faso to launch the same product there under the name “S’Cool”, and plan to reach out to other Francophone African countries in 2019/2020 and then to Anglophone countries later in 2020,” Fongang said.
Making the platform affordable is key to MooExams scaling.
“For MooExams to be successful as a tool to help our youth it must be accessible and used often. Therefore, our goal is to make the product price reasonable. We believe that the large sums that families are spending on tutoring and special tools serve to make the reasonably priced MooExams attractive,” said Fongang.
“So we are combining sponsorship from companies willing to support youth education, targeted advertising so universities and higher institutions can enhance their message to students, and direct outreach to potential students and families directly through our platform.”
All in all, though, he sees great potential for these types of applications.
“The field of education is an ideal environment for the application of gamification. It can be applied to both solitary and interactive learning, across various subject matters,” he said.