Looking for an excuse to do the gwara-gwara? If you were jolted by this report: World Economic Forum Report 2014-2015 (as we were), where SA was ranked last in the world in maths education, then once you have read this story you will be doing the gwara-gwara!...
James Abi is in the category of entrepreneurs who are put on this earth to tackle big problems. James is the founder of stumath, an online educational platform that connects students, tutorials, and educators. stumath is Uber-ish in vision and potential. James registered 11,000 people in his first test, confirming that understanding maths is a global pain point.
stumath was inspired when Abi saw his university peers struggle with basic maths. He became a tutor in his first year and he quickly recognised the problem started way earlier than university level. Abi realised the solution was to reach every maths student.
The simplicity of stumath is what makes this business idea so ingenious. It brings together technology, learners, and educators, it rewards participation and contribution, and stumath is built on great content and fuelled by smart incentives and goals. Everyone that participates as a student or a tutor is part of building the content, solutions, and results in a crowd-sourced, community- orientated way.
All of us have a story about that one teacher who shaped our success and made school the most valuable and rewarding time of our lives. Abi had 12 plus years of that impactful teacher, in the shape of his father, who was both an impassioned educator (a Ph.D. in engineering and then a lecturer at university), and a strict disciplinarian. The result was that Abi has never had anything less than an A for maths his entire career. Anything less was not an option, and when Abi became a tutor, his love for maths turned into a mission. Taking students from where they are to As and Bs is what fuels his passion. Scaling that experience is what stumath is all about.
Abi’s journey has not been without challenges. His greatest challenge was becoming an entrepreneur when his career path was shaped for more stable outcomes, like earning an excellent education to become an engineer. Abi even had to convince his father and community that stumath was a dream that would become a reality.
Abi is aware that stumath is bigger than South Africa, but he knows starting at home is where he can have massive impact. stumath’s founding in South Africa is great news for everyone who knows weakness in maths is an Achilles heel as we build our nation. He simply says, “This is a global community project that will bring equality and balance to the neediest people. The immediate goal is to produce job-ready South Africans. I believe in equality, and Maths goes a long way in developing balance in the world”.
And if you are not doing the gwara-gwara by now, it is because you don’t know the moves!
(Gwara-gwara moves DJBongz)
Here are the things Abi is addressing in his venture right now:
• Finding investors
• Marketing expertise and mentorship to grow the user base
• Partnership with professionals in education
• Partnerships with telecommunication infrastructure such as wireless internet connection and tablets
For more information about how to support James Abi and other #AwethuPeople, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “I want to be part of the solution.”
Hear what James has to say about giving back: Watch the snapshot.