Tech start-up Khula Africa Innovation Projects has launched smartpozi.com. Inspired by the spirit of Ubuntu and by a mother’s passion for education, this digital directory for South African teachers enables them to connect with learners who need academic support.
Khula Africa Innovation Projects is dedicated to creating innovative projects to help accelerate Africa’s growth into the digital age. With the pandemic causing a massive disruption in the education landscape in South Africa, they identified an opportunity for a new way of educating and established Smartpozi to ensure learners get the support required to achieve their goals.
Through the Internet, the Smartpozi platform enables teachers to promote their teaching services and boost their income by connecting with learners through online, telephonic or face-to-face lessons, whichever works best for them. While learners access lessons from the safety and comfort of their own pozi (home).
Teachers publicise the subjects or languages they teach, and the days and times that they are available for lessons. For privacy purposes, teachers’ contact details are made available only to registered learners and parents, who can search for the teacher that suits their grade and subject requirements. Once connected, learners pay teachers directly for lessons using whichever method is convenient for them.
Khula Africa Innovation Projects was founded by Siyabulela and Lungile Bomvu. Siyabulela, 34, is originally from East London in the Eastern Cape. A mother of two she is working as an HR consultant in Washington DC, USA while she finalises her Communications Degree from the University of Maryland.
Lungile, 40, also hails from the Eastern Cape having been born in Mthatha. He is a Senior IT Officer: Enterprise Architecture in Washington DC, USA and has a strong background in digital transformation – the adoption of the latest technologies to replace manual or outdated technologies in our business and daily lives.
“My mother, Vatiswa Simelela, a retired single mother was a teacher for over 30 years and always expressed the value of being educated to my sisters and me. Growing up I also learned the essence of Ubuntu; the importance of giving back and lending a helping hand,” explained Siyabulela.
Siyabulela has worked with the Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG), a non-profit organisation affiliated with the World Bank Group. As a member of the selection committee, she got to review and select women from developing countries who would receive grants to further their education to the benefit of their communities. Through her work at MMEG she learnt how technology was helping communities in many areas including education.