With five days left to go for 8-4-4 students across Kenya to sit for their KCSE exams, e-masomo, a website designed for students has witnessed a significant growth in the number of subscribers eager to view or download past papers and syllabi for the upcoming examinations.
In March this 2013, the non commercial portal’s followers grew to 400 followers after it was officially launched in February. It now boasts of having 950 followers, with Intel a computer company now sponsoring the initiative founded by Form Four Alliance High School students, Brian Kirotich and Martin Siele both 18.
Were it not for their determination to build a website despite failing to sustain a musical and entertainment website two years back, perhaps, their new interactive portal that offers study tools for high school students online, would have never seen this day. Backed with the zeal to design a website, their e-masomo portal was designed to divert students from unproductive internet uses to the embracement of ICT in line with Kenya’s vision 2030, making study time more interactive.
The portal shows potential in bridging the gap in the challenges schools face when it comes to ICT and learning, especially likely to be more active during holidays, when students are away from school concur some followers on the e-masomo Facebook page.
“I’m Proud of you Guys, with these developments, Vision 2030 will be actualized,” commented Jared.
Coming up with this site, despite its simplicity, the students cum founders concurred that it was a major task. They not only had to collect past papers from friends and school examination department, but had to use their savings and take loans to finance the initiative.
“We used about Sh3,000 to host the website another Sh2,500 to purchase the software and sh2,000 to scan the papers together with other misc expenses. We incurred a lot,” Martin said in an interview.
At the website, all that visitors have to do is to sign up and become members, and ask as many questions as possible, that would first receive moderation and then replies. However, visitors have also been active on their Facebook page generally asking questions concerning topics like Biology or Chemistry.
The site offers unlimited access to past KCSE and KCPE papers, educational debates and an interactive forum, mind engaging educative games and high school subjects’ syllabi. Based on the website’s statistics, English and Maths past papers have the highest number of downloads, compared to other subjects like Arabic, Metal work, Music and Carpentry. More so, it contains simple eLearning videos on various topics.
Besides having a countdown to the day of the national examinations, it is accessible for students wishing to sign up. Its interactive online forum helps students learn from others, and read and discuss educational debates and receive news on education.
Even as the KCSE examinations come closer, the founders say they usually spend at least two days weekly working on the website but go back to studies when they are not working on it.
To access the website, flow this link: http://emasomo.com/.