Cape Town-based tech entrepreneur Salah ElBaba today announced the launch of their new online school calendar service: EduCals.
EduCals allows parents to see a school’s calendar on their phone or PC, updated in real time. Parents can also synchronise this calendar with their phone or computer using Google Calendar, iCalendar (Apple), Outlook or any other calendar service around. Schools can add events like exams, tests, assignments, and homework or sports days into the calendar allowing parents to stay up-to-date with the latest developments pertaining to their children.
“As a father of three I saw how much my wife battled with coordinating our diary with that of each child’s school curriculum, which led me to the idea of EduCals,” says Salah ElBaba, founder and MD of EduCals by SMSWEB.
SMSWEB is the highly successful school communication system that Salah and partners developed in 2004. “This year alone we will send out over 19 million SMS’s and reach over a million parents,” says Salah. Parents receive messages from the school via SMS, email, social media, Skype, BBM, Mxit or WeChat telling them about key events or important information pertaining to their child.
“The logical next step in the evolution of our vision for improving school communication was for us to create an online calendar service that allows schools to better communicate with parents about exams, tests, assignments and events,” says Salah. “SMSWEB only costs R200 a month plus the cost of the SMS’s and we throw in EduCals for free for all our partner schools.”
EduCals integrates seamlessly with SMSWEB, giving schools a powerful way to reach out to parents and keep them in the loop regarding important events. It also reduces the amount of admin that goes into running a school, making it quicker, easier and cheaper for schools to communicate with parents.
Our schools have told us “Pass rates will improve if Parents know about their child’s exams or tests; as parents will help their child revise or in some cases make them revise.“ Says Salah.
“Studies show that parental involvement greatly improves pass rates http://www.adi.org/journal/fw04%5CSheldon%20&%20Epstein.pdf) and with EduCals we’re going to take education in South Africa to the next level,” says Salah.
“Eventually calendar reminders will also contain digital content that is aligned with the curriculum so parents will be able to open the course content and review the work with the child. It will also contain videos to online training resources like Khan Academy so parents will be able to actively participate and direct their child’s education without relying entirely on teachers to do so.”
South Africa has hundreds of thousands of children whose parents are not actively involved in their schooling. EduCals aims to change this by keeping parents informed, in real-time, of all matters pertaining to their child’s scholastic responsibilities so that parents can ensure their children are revising, studying and/or meeting deadlines.
This can only improve the career prospects of the youth of South Africa.