Tuta-Me: connecting learners with tutors by cellphone

With a touch of a few buttons on their cellphones, learners in South Africa now have access to tutors through the Tuta-Me app.

tuta me tutor app
Tuta-Me was named runner up in the 2016 #Hack.Jozi Challenge. (From left) Magriet Mouton of Hack.Jozi; Dylan Hyslop of Tuta-Me; Ruby Mathang then Johannesburg’s mayoral committee member for economic development; Abed Tau of Tuta-Me; and Ravi Naidoo, then executive director of Johannesburg’s economic development department. (Image: Hack.Jozi Challenge)

Melissa Javan

More than 200 learners in South Africa had received access to tutoring sessions through an app known as the Uber of tutoring, said the founders of Tuta-Me. Tuta-Me is a mobile application designed to connect learners with tutors, as well as facilitate tutoring sessions.

The app was developed at the beginning of 2015, and taken to market by co-founders Abed Tau and Dylan Hyslop in March 2016.

Tau told CGTN Africa that the app was not just to enhance education but also to create micro entrepreneurs. There are more than 1,000 people all over the country registered as tutors on Tuta-me.

Last year, Tuta-Me was named runner up in the 2016 #Hack.Jozi Challenge. The challenge is a bootcamp for startups with innovative ideas to solve a challenge that the citizens of Johannesburg face, by developing the best digital solutions to everyday problems.

The competition was run by the City of Johannesburg in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand through the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering.

The beginning

Tau had returned from his visit to Silicon Valley in San Francisco when he was inspired to start an Uber of “something” in South Africa. After brainstorming, Tau and Hyslop decided to focus on introducing technology into the way that tutoring services were delivered. From there, Tuta-Me was born.

Hyslop said Tuta-Me started with two people, but had grown to seven people.

Watch the co-founders of Tuta-Me tell SME South Africa how to provide the best solution for customers (and users of your product):

How it works

The Tuta-Me app can be downloaded for free on Android cellphones from the Google Play Store. Students then book a lesson by finding a tutor of their choice. The payment for the tutor session is done via e-wallet.

Hyslop explained how the process for the tutors worked. “Tutors set their own rates, availability and the areas that they can tutor in.

“Students are then able to find a tutor based on their needs in terms of subject, area and time. A student can then rate a tutor, which ensures that quality is maintained,” said Hyslop.

Watch tutors tell CGTN Africa news channel their experiences:

Free education project

Tau said Tuta-Me had other projects – Tuta-Me Engage, Tuta-Me Uplift and Quiz-Me.

Tuta-Me Uplift is a program aimed at providing free tutoring to underprivileged children. “We provide tutors who facilitate sessions intended to occur at least once a week for a specific subject in each grade,” said Tau.

“We partner with several companies to sponsor lessons to the schools that we have listed in our program. We also welcome individual sponsorships where individuals can sponsor a lesson or a student for the year.”

For more information on its other projects, go to the Tuta-Me Facebook page.

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