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Jamaican Entrepreneur aims to make school exams fun!

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March is the month that brings anxiety to schoolchildren and their parents across Jamaica. It’s when pupils aged 11 or over sit their Grade Six Achievement Test, better known as the Gsat.

Some 40,000 students sit the exam every year. For most, the worry is because they and their families feel their entire future depends on it.

In Jamaica, like many places, competition to get into certain secondary schools is fierce, the Gsat exams place pupils into their top five choices by performance – and that’s where Edufocal steps in.

Gordon Swaby founder of Edufocal collecting an award Image courtesy Jamaican Observer

Gordon Swaby founder of Edufocal collecting an award. Image courtesy Jamaican Observer

“Like in a video game students compete for the top spot. For many it is not school work, it’s playing,” says Gordon Swaby, the company’s chief executive.

“At that age they love to compete.”

Online competition

It’s an online learning platform that’s getting children to study through “gamification”, making it fun to train for examinations.

The firm makes studying more like a computer game, where pupils compete and their high scores are the tests results.

“They start on level one on all the subjects,” says Mr Swaby, and to move up they need to answer the questions correctly.

“They can win prizes whether it’s a movie ticket, food vouchers, mobile credit. That’s the cultural element to it, Jamaicans love to win stuff, they love incentives,” he says.

Exam tests

Gordon, aged 25, started the business four years ago, but this was not his first online venture.

As a teenager he launched a video game website from his rural home in central Jamaica which became one of the biggest gaming sites in the Caribbean.

He now employs four people full-time and two part-time with Edufocal, as well as teachers across the country who are paid to write content for the platform.

It costs about $15 (£10) a month for parents to buy a subscription to Edufocal. This allows pupils to access some 23,000 exams in the core subjects tested by the Gsat; maths, languages, arts, science, social studies and communication.

Watch this video about Gordon below

Source BBC News. Read full article here



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