Facebook is testing ‘Sabee’ educational app to improve online education in Nigeria

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Boy listening music while using laptop at desk in school

Nigeria, being a hub of about two million educators, appears professionally capable of serving its ever-growing learning population of over fifty million. The country is, however, straining to bridge the gap between educators and pupils.

Facebook’s Internal Research and Development Team, seeks to profer a solution to the problem with the introduction of an educational mobile app called Sabee.

Sabee, a pronunciation of the Nigerian Pidgin word, ‘Sabi’ which means ‘to know‘, aims to connect learners and educators in online communities to make educational opportunities more accessible in Nigeria.

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Sabee is currently in early alpha testing with fewer than 100 testers who are under non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with Facebook. Although it went public for a short while on the Google Play Store, it didn’t manage to rank on any charts.

Beyond this small group of testers, Sabee is not available for anyone else presently but Facebook hopes to scale it to the next stage before the end of the year. It aims to target Nigerian learners at the time of launch.

What it does

The Sabee app is aimed at fulfilling the need for contact-less service due to the coronavirus pandemic. It comes amid a global boom in the educational technology space which is one of the few industries that have experienced a significant boost in revenue due to its inexhaustible value proposition for the evolving educational digital sphere.

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“With this small, early test, we’re hoping to understand how we can help educators build communities that make education available to everyone. We look forward to learning with our early testers, and deciding what to do from there.”

Emeka Okafor, Product Lead at Facebook

Facebook aims to create an app that is fully functional and accessible with internet connectivity that is as low as 2G. This expands service to groups that are often left behind by technology.

See also: First-ever 3D-printed school building in the world unveiled in Malawi

Nigeria had the largest share of the 210 education-focused tech startups in Africa as of the first quarter of 2020. These startups are helping to address the country’s age-long problems in the education sector such as poor learning experience and outcomes, as well as a huge number of out-of-school children.


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