Thierry N’Doufou an Ivory Coast IT specialist & the CEO of Siregex have developed the Qelasy. Qelasy which means 'classroom' is an 8-inch tablet that is soon to be released.
This tablet runs on an unspecified Android operating system and will last for eight-hours, before needing recharged. It is safe against water spills, dust, humidity and heat, designed to endure the everyday wear and tear handling of kids.
The focus is to bring the young students of Côte d’Ivoire a better education. The Tablet will be a great tool and this should be a great success. Initially, the tablet will probably only benefit the country’s middle and upper classes, because of its steep cost. The government will provide tablets to 5,000 students in public schools. There will be some additional tablets used in other pilot-programs and they will be made available for purchase also at the cost of $232 (£143).
It will function like any other tablet and it can also be programmed to allow kids to surf the web or play games according to a pre-defined timetable. The Siregex staff has also developed a web-store where parents and educators can buy apps and other educational texts and materials.
The cost is not the only problem, unfortunately only about 60% of the population have access to electricity
Siregex hopes to attract investors and would like to expand beyond the Ivorian market. This tech company wants to expand to Mauritania, Algeria and The Middle East.
The people of Ivory Coast speak their National Language and also French and English. "We're now looking to do an Arabic version because we want to reach Mauritania, Algeria and Middle Eastern countries." - Thierry N’Doufou
Education everywhere needs change, brought up to date. The old ways are counter productive and learning with the aid of technology is the future. Some already have it and the results are obvious and predictable.
My biggest reservation about this highly ambitious project is the cost. I can find and buy a new Android 8-inch tablet almost anywhere on the shopping sites for half the cost. So, why does this cost so much? I am hoping it's just the cost of an initial start-up project that makes the price higher and hopefully they will be able to get the price down. It's a project that I hope is very successful.
Considering all the news coming from Africa these days, this is news worth talking about.