June 22, 2024

A Unique Generation Start Up-Ustad Mobile provides access for E-Digital Learning to those in Remote Areas


There is definitely great news for the society’s disadvantaged, displaced and marginalized tertiary or remote locations like Afghanistan or refugee camps in Bangladesh and Jordan, etc living in poor internet connectivity as this unique E-self learning Application provides Educational Content.

  The Company that was started in January 2014 by founders Mike Dawson, Varuna Singh, and Benita Rowe allows the societal disadvantaged (Downtrodden), displaced or sort of cut off from the society as this educational content can be shared without internet as well viz through offline solutions and an all unique and integrated Bluetooth technology as well as a peer-to-peer sharing feature. It received initially a sum of $100,000 (Dh367,250) from the Expo Live Innovation Grant program, an Expo 2020 initiative, and as well as a $30,000 pre-seeded investment from the Dubai-based Turn8 Accelerator.

  What makes it even more beneficial for such remote tertiary people is that it can be conveniently downloaded onto mobile phones, laptops or any other visual electronic devices and can then be transmitted to other devices without even the requirement of any extended hardware devices or connectivity services.

  As quoted in the words by Benita Rowe, one of the co-founders of the company “Ustad Mobile APP and company have all the leading potential for them to turn into a pioneered Learning management system (LMS) in due course of time especially in emerging markets and transform the erstwhile uneducated landscapes or remote landscape into even smarter and digitalized e-learning hubs.”

  The co-founder, as well as COO (Chief Operating Officer) of the company, further stated that “the company firebrands customized versions of this unique, innovative app for diversified yet specific chosen sectors, projects etc on basis of their requirement and their utilization perspective.”

  This application is hugely successful especially with the teaching staff as the varied customized versions tender them

  • Support for enhancement of employability skills especially in all public and even a few private university students in Afghanistan, thereby supporting them for accessing best-quality interactive video courses offline.
  • Ustad App is also utilized for a non-profit organization, FHI 360, especially on basis of a US Agency for International Aid Development project called Goldozi that supports Women in and around Kabul for enhancing their business potential for the traditional embroidered products.
  • Yet another different version for delivering teacher training to kindergarten teachers in Jordan, and
  • A kind of version for enabling the educators and parents to access early childhood education materials in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

     Ms. Rowe, also adds up stating that they are devising strategies for developing and customization of their own open-source code for building up an app that aids in tracking performance, sales for real-time project reporting, market trends and up-to-date market information.

   Needless to state that such a strong foundation can only be laid in by visionaries, hard-working as well as smart working desirous people. And this was the heart and fuel for Ustad Mobile Success. As all of the three founders were striving hard for years especially in tandem with surging the equitable access to education in places where connectivity was an issue. Mr. Dawson and Mr. Singh, then employed in Afghanistan worked with full vigor on software development and Ms. Rowe was instrumental in devising and writing various proposals for the World Bank, from a programmatic and instructional perspective, for increasing the overall access to training materials for teachers across Afghanistan.

  The three then joined forces and started working in tandem for development of a tool for surging ahead of the access to digital learning content in tertiaries with limited connectivity as well as in supporting the disadvantaged, displaced and marginalized in their education.

  Ms. Rowe emphasized her statement that they believe in making the Ustad Mobile App the king leaders in becoming the global leaders in LMS (Learning Management System), especially for the emerging markets. She also pointed out that they would analyze their success ratio in the comparison of an account of people who can access learning content via their app despite limited or at times no connectivity constraints.

  As per Ms. Rowe’s statement “The entity is as well planning for releasing an open access general all-purpose Library center allowing for accessing of over 100,000 of the global most popular online educational content absolutely free including Khan Academy, Edraak and Pratham Books offline. What’s even better for this noble initiative is that it’s being supported by Expo Live Innovation Grant, a Dubai Expo 2020 initiative. As well as the all-purpose general library will reach as many users as possible and would also be multi-linguistic and would support as many languages as possible. It will also have its prime focus on nations having a huge number of users with limited or no connectivity.”

“We also offer establishments — generally NGOs (non-authorities’ companies) and humanitarian sector actors — with an out-of-the-field gadget so that they can supply and display their personal digital getting to know content material the use of our era to conquer connectivity limitations.”

Dubai Future Accelerators in collaboration with Dubai Cares and Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3), in conjunction with the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme and begin-up incubator In5 were instrumental in presenting the corporation with mentorship, investment assets and collaboration possibilities via public-private partnerships. Ustad Mobile makes its finances by presenting company-level help, updates, and education for large-scale deployments and cloud hosting solutions, at the same time as leaving its software loose and open supply for anybody to apply.

  Q&A: Benita Rowe, leader operating officer at Ustad Mobile

What successful start-up do you want you had commenced?

I am certainly excited about Desert Control, a Norwegian Agro-technology based agency, and fellow Expo Live Global Innovator. They’re running on reducing desertification in a value-effective and environmentally friendly manner.

What new capabilities have you learned from launching your maiden business Venture?

Communicating how an offline-first approach and the sustainability of a program are inextricably related to all choice makers. We regularly listen ‘anybody can be online in two years’ however the dynamics of this are some distance extra complex. Internet gets right of entry to as such isn’t always a binary country and geography, magnificence, area, and gender intersect in a myriad of methods to affect a man or woman’s get entry to as nicely.

If you may do all of it again, what might you do otherwise differently and why?

 Pivot to providing a white-labeled version of the app to businesses inquisitive about a subscription service a touch faster.

What is your subsequent larger dream?

For the coming months, I’m excited about increasing the attain and impact of the general reason library created with an assist from the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme. For the mid-term, I’m looking forward to utilizing current project revenue and grants to move closer to a sustainable, open-supply business enterprise model, similar to Canvas or Moodle in which we provide companies, commonly NGOs and humanitarian region actors with an out-of-the-box machine.

What does that contain?

This is to deliver and screen their own virtual getting to know content using our technology to conquer connectivity limitations even as leaving the software program itself, which includes an all-purpose general library, loose and open source for everybody to use. We’re on target to attain this purpose that is certainly interesting.



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