BY TOM JACKSON
Nigerian ed-tech startup Gradely has unveiled a homegrown, virtual learning management system (LMS) for schools.
Founded in 2019 by Boye Oshinaga, Femi Ibiwoye, Seyi Adelaju and Babatunde Caleb, Gradely uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help parents and schools intervene in real-time to plug student learning gaps.
The startup, which has raised US$150,000 in pre-seed funding from angels and venture capital firms such as Ventures Platform and Microtraction, has now launched its LMS, known as “Gradely For Schools”.
It is a teacher-led LMS, built for personalised learning, with features such as live classes to organise and hold engaging class experiences, assessment tools to set up robust and relevant assessment formats fitted with the Nigerian and British curriculum-aligned question pool, a proctored examination system to hold credible remote academic evaluations, and a suite of personalised video lessons, practice quizzes and games library known as Gradely CatchUp! to support in-class efforts with students at home.
“The personalisation works by having tonnes of assessment content mapped by topic and difficulty, and following performance on adaptive tests, students are provided recommendations daily to catch up on weak areas. This leads to measurable improvement in student’s performance and a learning path that is unique to each child,” Oshinaga told Disrupt Africa.
“It is possible to use Gradely at home as a standalone learning supplement or in conjunction with school, so that homework and class material can be viewed directly on the app as well. In this case, where the app is school-integrated, parents see a report that is the most representative source of truth of the child’s learning progress.”
So far, Gradely has been used by over 5,000 Nigerian parents and 200 schools as part of its beta testing, and it is now planning a wider rollout.
“We saw that while African schools had begun to adopt technology, they had not figured out how to leverage it to improve learning outcomes,” said Oshinaga. “Today, 200 million African students, many in private schools as well as public schools, are in school but not learning. This is nine out of every 10 students on the continent.”
As internet penetration and device access accelerates, however, Gradely believes every school and parent in Africa will require a digital learning environment that complements classroom education and gives students a leg up in future exams. Gradely is such a solution, and charges schools an annual per student fee for LMS access and an additional fee for content access. It also charges parents a monthly subscription for content access as well as fees per live tutor session.
“We are currently making revenues from existing users,” Oshinaga said.
“We are launching first in Nigeria but plan to expand region-by-region across Africa and potentially globally as the use-cases for a content-driven personalised learning platform are very scalable.”