Teenagers develop mobile app to ease math learning

LISTENING TO 17-year-old Feleile Naberwa pitching mobile games developed by Code Clubbers, you want to stop and ask her what her master's degree thesis was all about. This high school student leaves you with a strong belief that Rwanda's Vision 2020 goes beyond strategic papers and that it is indeed achievable.
Sharing ideas on what is the correct answer using the apps. (Patrick Buchana)
Sharing ideas on what is the correct answer using the apps. (Patrick Buchana)

LISTENING TO 17-year-old Feleile Naberwa pitching mobile games developed by Code Clubbers, you want to stop and ask her what her master’s degree thesis was all about. This high school student leaves you with a strong belief that Rwanda’s Vision 2020 goes beyond strategic papers and that it is indeed achievable.

A teenage team of 15 has created four mobile games and crafted a new word they hope will make it to the Oxford Dictionary, EDUFUNICATION, meaning adding fun to education.

“Reading a book is very hard for many, particularly African children. We can’t afford to miss out on learning because of such bottlenecks. That is what motivated us to do this,” Naberwa said.

He went on to say that his team wants to turn round education in Rwanda and the continent. Although listening to them pitch ideas gives you an impression that they have just flown in from New York City, California or Miami; they are simply from down the block in Kigali. In fact they are from Lycée de Kigali with coding lessons from HEHE Labs, a local startup itself.

The games

If you are a parent wondering how your kids can improve their mathematics or thinking processes, you will love their “BeSmart” game.

BeSmart is a fun education game which trains children to think faster, develop their minds and learn subjects like mathematics and know general knowledge in an easy and fun way. BeSmart has a very cartoonish design. It has two in-built play modes which are Trivia and Number shoot out.

Trivia is a play mode which aims to teach kids about general knowledge and it is translated into three languages, English, Kinyarwanda and French, to meet the different needs of the players.

In Trivia, you will find questions like who is the president of a certain country. How many letters are in a certain word, what the highest mountain in Africa is called and many others.

Number shoot out: This is a very mathematics based play mode, which mainly asks questions about multiplication, addition, subtraction and division. Number shoot out is made in a way that the questions get harder as the player continues to play, and its design is very child-friendly.

Their second game, SEKA, helps children develop a good memory; to have quick and relevant thinking about anything and sharpen their mind for innovative ideas but parents will also find it relevant.

IHEMA, the third game, is a fun game made for the purpose of teaching kids English, Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili. This is made possible through its very creative design and way of working.

IHEMA has a purpose of increasing the number of children, who love, know and speak Kinyarwanda. You may perhaps want to ask: who wants to learn Kinyarwanda? Well, Code Clubbers has seen potential already in the Diaspora community of which they say many can’t speak the mother tongue. But before we are done with Kinyarwanda, they have also integrated Kiswahili making it an East African game further proving that young Rwandans are also paying attention to regional integration.

FORA comes fourth. A Kinyarwanda game with a mission of preserving the Rwandan culture. “It will help children know more about their culture and language wherever they are, in an easy and fun way” says one of the Code Clubbers.