Solution Overview

Solution Name:

SimbiBot

One-line solution summary:

Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to give every child access to quality, personalized, and affordable education.

Pitch your solution.

In the year 2018, 258 million children were out of school, according to UNESCO. By 2020, that number had grown to 1.5 billion children due to the coronavirus outbreak. Those in school are subjected to low-quality educational resources, lack of teacher support due to the teacher-to-student ratio, high learning costs, lack of parental support, and much more.

We are solving this problem starting with Nigeria by making quality education personalized, affordable, and easily accessible to every child with our AI-powered solution - SimbiBot. 

Simbibot uses the maieutic learning style to ignite students' creative thinking, thereby encouraging self & lifelong learning while helping students develop their problem-solving skills and making learning fun and interactive.

Scaling our solution globally will foster self-learning, thereby reducing the risk of child molestation, sexual harassment, rape, bullying, and the likes. For teachers and parents, SimbiBot is used as a tool for hybrid and remote learning, respectively.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Our goal is to solve the problem of equitable distribution of learning resources in Nigeria, Africa, and the world. 

In a 2020 report released by UNESCO, 9 out of 10 children are not in school worldwide. Presently, Africa alone has 250 million primary and secondary children out of school. Unfortunately, most of the lucky ones in school experience a very low-quality education due to gender inequality, lack of personalized learning, financial constraints, unfavorable geographical and environmental factors, sexual assault, child abuse, and other unequal learning opportunities. 

We give every child, teacher, and parent the tool needed to have quality, equitable, and affordable learning resources, increased engagement, and increased retention of learners in a remote or hybrid learning situation.

What is your solution?

Our solution is Simbibot - an AI-powered learning assistant that uses the maieutic learning style to ignite students' creative thinking, thereby encouraging self & lifelong learning while helping students develop their problem-solving skills and making learning fun and interactive.

Simbibot helps learners learn through 5 phases:

  • The Learning Phase: Contains educational resources tailored to each student's learning style and pace.
  • Interactive Questions Phase: Uses the maieutic learning style to help the child master learning concepts.
  • Evaluation Phase: Uses a real-life exam experience to check if a child is fully grounded in the topic.
  • Gamification: A synergy between gaming and learning to increase engagement and boost students' retention.
  • Forum: Simbibot has forums and communities where children who need extra help with concepts they have difficulty comprehending can get it in real-time.

SimbiBot also gives a progress report which indicates the child’s learning performance over a period using a well relatable chart that can be accessed by parents, guardians, and teachers.

We use Google's Dialog flow that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to parse student's input and respond accordingly. We also use Python's Machine Learning Library (Scikit-learn) to train and help SimbiBot learn concepts across various areas to handle user requests better.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Currently, our solution serves over 120,000 secondary school students and teachers. Our solution also serves over 50,000 primary school students and teachers. We are working towards improving the lives of over 50 million Nigerian students and teachers by giving them access to equal learning opportunities, which inevitably translates into a chance for a better life.

We are meeting the needs of learners who have no access to quality education resources, either because of their gender, family background, social class, religion, sexual orientation, and high costs of educational resources. 

We understand the needs of our customers and potential customers by conducting research, surveys and working with state governments to understand better the current educational challenges and how our solution can solve them.

Simbibot addresses the needs of our customers and will address the needs of our potential customers through the following:

  • Reduce the rate of child abuse and sexual harassment by reducing teacher-student contact in an informal learning environment.
  • Improve equal, inclusive access to education, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, religion, and culture.
  • Encourage self-study, personalized learning, and lifelong learning.
  • Increase student's participation in hybrid environments.
  • Help parents, teachers, and guardians monitor children's performance in real-time.
  • Help students who can’t access schools and learning centers in their communities learn from home.
  • Help parents give their children the best education without electricity and data issues.
  • Help teachers personalize learning in their various schools.
  • Increase engagement and retention rate in remote or hybrid learning environments.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Increase the engagement of learners in remote, hybrid, and physical environments, including strategies and tools for parental support, peer interaction, and guided independent work.

Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

SimbiBot promotes inclusiveness, affordable and personalized education for every child, from the comfort of their homes or their respective learning centers. 

Our solution was designed to be learner-centric, increase the retention span and engagement of learners, include teachers and parents in the education of a child, and ensure learners have the chance to study remotely, away from the case of bullying, sexual harassment, and child abuse. 

We believe and are working towards using our solution to bridge the education gap in African by providing every African child, teacher, and parent access to quality, personalized, and affordable education.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Lagos, Nigeria

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth.

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

We rolled out SimbiBot in 2019, and so far, we have over 120,000 senior secondary students and teachers, 50,000 primary school students, and 60 private schools that use our solution and trust us. We have also partnered with two state governments in Nigeria to provide public secondary school students access to SimbiBot.

We are looking forward to extending our reach to all 36 states in Nigeria and neighboring African countries.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Olawunmi Olaniyi

More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

What makes your solution innovative?

Until Simbibot was created, several artificial intelligence-based educational solutions have been developed without considering Africa’s infrastructure challenges and its curriculum.

1. We are uniquely different as we help students learn and evaluate any concept using artificial intelligence and machine learning. We focus on igniting learners' creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills by conversing with them using the maieutic learning style.

2. We put into consideration Africa’s infrastructure challenges and curriculum. Our solution is affordable, with prices as low as $25 annually for all subjects compared to about $200 per month that parents pay for private tutoring. It also works without the internet and can be deployed via our solar-powered tablets.

3. Our contents are provided by qualified experts in every subject and are verified on a 3-layer vetting process by other qualified teachers from top schools who work with the updated curriculum.

4. We incorporated gamification to create a synergy between learning and games, increasing learners' engagement and retention rate and acting as an avenue for peer interaction.

5. Parents and teachers are involved in a child's education with SimbiBot. For example, a teacher can evaluate a learner or use it as a teaching aid. Both parents and teachers also monitor a learner's progress on SimbiBot to know where the learner is lacking and what could be done better.

So far, we have been to impact 120,000 learners in Nigeria and look forward to expanding to lower levels of education in Nigeria and other African countries.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • LGBTQ+
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Persons with Disabilities

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Nigeria

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Ghana
  • Nigeria

How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Current total users: 120,937 

Proposed target 2021: 400,000 

5years target: 2,000,000

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

We measure our progress by the goals we set to accomplish at specific periods. Our goals are broken down into monthly, quarterly, yearly, and the next 5 years.

Some of our goals include providing equitable ad inclusive quality education to 2 million students, teachers, and parents in the next 5 years. To become a household name and to be a lifelong learning partner.

About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit

How many people work on your solution team?

Full-time: 6 staff

Part-time: 5 staff

How long have you been working on your solution?

2 years

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Ibukunoluwa Olaniyi leads the team as the Chief Strategy Officer. He has a vast background in education and first-hand experience with students as a teacher. He has also worked as a customer service representative and digital marketer. He brings a fresh breath of life, customer relations, culture, and well-balanced education innovations to the team. 

Abdulazeez Ogunjobi is the CEO and has been at the helm of several education mobile apps. He brings onboard nearly 9 years of experience as a trained educator as well as a hardcore techie. 

Oyindamola Adesina's passion for people and technology makes her oversee ongoing business operations within the company. She is the COO at Simbi Interactives with a wealth of experience in Project and Product Management.

Sodeeq Elusoji brings significant experience as a full-stack developer, having built AI-powered products, Blockchain dApps, and various web and mobile apps qualifying him as a strong CTO to lead the technical future of SimbiBot. 

The team has worked on successful EdTech projects in the past and has the experience and capabilities to drive the product to success. Working on Simbibot was born out of the need to make quality education easily accessible, affordable, and available to every African child. Since its inception, our fast-growing traction and daily active users is proof in itself that EdTech in Africa has come to stay.

What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

We are committed to diversity, equality, and inclusiveness. Our team and product are proofs of our commitment to this. 

SimbiBot was founded on providing every African child irrespective of gender, culture, religious and sexual orientation has access to quality, personalized, and affordable education. 

As of 2021, out of the 11 staff at Simbibot, 64% are women.

Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

MIT SOLVE will give us the funding and support to scale exponentially across the 36 states in Nigeria and neighboring African countries. We need support to expand beyond the major cities in Nigeria, penetrate suburban areas, and expand to international markets.

Engineering growth: We would like to add more to the team of our amazing engineers to excellently implement the features on our roadmap within the set time. We would also love to expose our existing and newly acquired engineers to the knowledge we would have access to within this program, especially with our machine learning, to make Simbibot more intelligent and perform more functions to make learning inclusive, learner-centric, and effective.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)

Please explain in more detail here.

Financial: Our current financial strength hinders us from improving the product to enhance exponential growth. Scaling to other parts of the country with minimal internet access is also affected by financial constraints.

Human capital: We need a Machine Learning expert to help us further enhance Simbibot’s ability to study students' educational, behavioral, and psychological patterns. We believe this can further improve the efficiency of Simbibot’s personalization and inclusion.

 Public relations: We are looking towards having advisors, branding strategists, and global media experts that can guide us through our mission of global scalability, partnerships, and scalability.

What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

AR for education organizations - we will be working with them to integrate our AR feature to explain abstract content.

Telecos - to make our solution inclusive, we will be deploying our solution via USSD to cater to learners with low internet penetration.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The ASA Prize for Equitable Education? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GM Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The GM Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion to advance your solution?

A common problem in Nigeria’s higher education sector is students (especially the female student) settling for a course of study they did not choose (usually a non STEM course) because they could not meet their cut-off mark. 

Students scoring high in their exams after preparing with SimbiBot are more confident that they can choose to study whatever course they wish to study.

Our team will use the GM Prize to provide SimbiBot to areas burdened with minimal internet access and erratic power supply by providing these girls solar-powered learning tablets. We will also use the prize to hire teachers/experts in STEM subjects to provide step-by-step explanations to students using SimbiBot. 

Also, the GM Prize will be used to hire Machine Learning experts to help us further enhance Simbibot’s ability to study students' educational, behavioral, and psychological patterns.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Innovation for Women Prize to advance your solution?

SimbiBot is an AI-powered product that uses the maieutic learning style to give students (especially the girl child) access to personalized quality education by helping them learn, master, and evaluate themselves in any topic, anywhere, without the internet, and on any device. 

SimbiBot also helps curb the child abuse and sexual harassment the girl child faces by reducing teacher-student contact in an informal learning environment.

The Innovation for Women Prize will be used to scale this product to other parts of the country where girls are marginalized, either because of family views, social class, religion, or places with minimal internet access and erratic power supply. We will provide these girls with solar-powered learning tablets preinstalled with SimbiBot and give them access to all the educational resources and features available on SimbiBot.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The AI for Humanity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

SimbiBot is an AI-powered product that uses the maieutic learning style to give every child in Africa access to personalized quality education by helping them learn, master, and evaluate themselves in any topic, anywhere, and on any device in a fun, easy-to-understand, and interactive way.

Last year, out of 50,000 students who used our solution to study before their qualifying exams, we recorded a 92% success rate, out of which 40% of the students previously failed these qualifying exams.

SimbiBot uses AI to predict learners' performance in examinations. We also use AI to pinpoint learners' weak areas in a subject and provide recommendations based on that.

AI for Humanity Prize will be used to hire Machine Learning experts to help us further enhance Simbibot’s ability to study students' educational, behavioral, and psychological patterns, thereby furthering the development of the product. We will use the prize judiciously to get the necessary tools and scale our solution to other African countries.

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The AI for Humanity Prize to advance your solution?

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The AI for Humanity Prize to advance your solution?

SimbiBot is an AI-powered product that uses the maieutic learning style to give every child in Africa access to personalized quality education by helping them learn, master, and evaluate themselves in any topic, anywhere, and on any device in a fun, easy-to-understand, and interactive way.

Last year, out of 50,000 students who used our solution to study before their qualifying exams, we recorded a 92% success rate, out of which 40% of the students previously failed these qualifying exams.

SimbiBot uses AI to predict learners' performance in examinations. We also AI to pinpoint learners' weak areas in a subject and provide recommendations based on that.

AI for Humanity Prize will be used to hire Machine Learning experts to help us further enhance Simbibot’s ability to study students' educational, behavioral, and psychological patterns, thereby furthering the development of the product. We will use the prize judiciously to get the necessary tools and scale our solution to other African countries.


Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GSR Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

Solution Team

 
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