Announcing the Beta release of Karandoula


14 Feb 2021  Issa Nimaga  4 mins read.

Today I’m excited to unveil the MVP of the side-project I’ve been working on over the past 6 months; Karandoula.

Karandoula is an elearning app built for Guinean secondary school students, that is meant to be used as a supplementary study tool.

Its mission is simple:

Facilitate access to educational resources.

The reason/motivation for developing Karandoula stemmed from my personal experience dealing with educational disruptions in Guinea, and a strong desire to improve things (even if just by a little bit).

The problem

For a lot of Guineans, it is a given that the typical student in the country has to deal with constant disruptions to their education cycle (caused by the endless amount of strikes, occurring almost on a bi-monthly basis). Last year’s cohort (2020) however, had the misfortune of experiencing a world-wide pandemic atop the usual disruptions. Following compulsory lockdown measures imposed by the government, the majority of students were stuck at home, unfortunately missing out on a significant part of their syllabus. While stuck at home, adequate alternative solutions to learning they could use were very limited, and in most cases, inaccessible. The need for a solution that addresses these problems, even partially, is therefore apparent.

The proposed solution

I first began exploring different solutions to the problem at the start of the pandemic, after speaking to my younger siblings & cousins, and learning about their educational plight. Taking my existing skills into account, I decided I was going to build an app. The reason for this was because, I came to realise (as I probed more into the problem) that one of the main issues was with ease of access. While laptops/computers are still somewhat of a luxury, the majority of students/people had a smart-phone and could use that to access the internet. Performing long-extended researches on a mobile phone however, is sub-optimal. But what if some-one else had already done all the work, curated and organised the content according to their relevance with the syllabus and made this easily available/accessible? A student should therefore be able to just:

  • 1 - Download the app and
  • 2- Start learning (after selecting their class and subject).

That is essentially what I have (or rather, am) doing. The content within the Karandoula app is currently a curation of free resources from around the internet. My goal with the app at present, is to organise freely available resources from sources like KhanAcademy, Wikipedia, Youtube e.t.c, according to the Guinean highschool curriculum. I’m not really re-inventing the wheel in a major way. Just making existing educational resources a little more accessible.

Karandoula however, doesn’t plan on just stopping there. It still has a very long way to go from what I fully envision it to be. In future iterations/versions of the app, I intend extending the functionalities to include original content, covering past questions from national exams. Question banks would also be added down the line, to allow students to practice revised topics. A host of other features (which I would rather not discuss at the moment) are also in the pipeline. I’ll continue working on the delivery of new features while ensuring I improve the existing app. I might also look to setup a local executive team in the future as they’ll be closest to the user base and can empathise with them.

Timeline and Other Notes

I officially begun working on this side project in September 2020 (following some initial research and completion of some learnings undertaken). Due to my current job commitments with EY however, I could only work on it during the weekends or very late in the evenings on weekdays.

I might consider writing a future blog entry about my different processes or the Karandoula tech stack. It should make for an interesting article as I reflect on some of the key decisions I made to keep the operational and long term costs of the project very low.

While my goal with Karandoula isn’t to make money, it is important that the project runs in a sustainable way. As such, some revenue models might be explored in the future. Nevertheless, the core product will always remain free.

Trailer/Promo video

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If you have any questions, feedback or some Ideas then please feel to reach out. 🙂