EducAID (BC-05)

A project which aims to give fair opportunities for all to excel.

We have created a mini prototype of our EducAID app to give readers an interactive opportunity to learn more about what our app can do! Do access to the prototype through this link here. (Note: Do view this prototype using your mobile phones for a better viewing experience!)

Project Brief:

Our project, EducAID, is a plan based in Singapore where we believe that through the use of decentralised tuition services, students from lower income families will be able to receive more educational support, allowing Singapore’s playing field in education to be able leveled out.

The EducAID Team:

Member 1: Charmaine Tan Wanwen

“In terms of money, I have no money.”

Hi everyone! I’m Charmaine, the “leader” of my block chain group (ironically, I’m the youngest of the three!). I’m a complete beginner regarding block chain technology, and have no experience whatsoever, but the opportunity to participate in this challenge seemed so interesting it was too good of a deal to pass. My other interests include music, trying not to fail my Math and annoying every single one of my friends. This hasn’t been a very outstanding profile bio considering my lack of experience, but I hope you got to know me better anyway! 🙂

Member 2: Wee Shi Ying Siam

“No, I am NOT Thailand”

Hello! My name is Siam and I am 17 years old! I am a junior college student and I have 0 prior experience or knowledge regarding blockchain. I am interested in biology and finance. I love burgers and fried food.

Member 3: Bryan Seah Jun Le

“My name is Bryan but you can call me

Greetings! My name is Bryan and since young I have always wished to be a spy that could save the world… Thus, when presented with an opportunity to impact a community in this world full of inequalities, I could not resist. I do not speak a single word in code but I am quite stubborn (in a good way) and am willing to try new things! Just like what my friends always say, “You’re like that cockroach that won’t die after you step on it multiple times.”

Main Content:

1.Who are our students?
Our students will be mainly primary school students that come from low income families in Singapore. Primary school students, despite their young age, already have to start preparing for their first national exam which occurs in their sixth year of primary school. However, as many primary schools in Singapore do not offer the option of consultations or regular remedial classes to assist those that have difficulty understanding the content taught in school, most students from lower income classes will be put at a disadvantage. This is because many families in Singapore would sign their children up for tuition classes to ensure that they would be able to keep up in Singapore’s competitive society, which is often expensive and not feasible for families with a lower income.

Through helping the primary school students that come from low income families in Singapore, we strive to achieve, in terms of Sustainable Development Goals, two milestones in our society today: Quality Education and Reduced Inequalities.

The student and his/ her family can look through the profile of the matched tutor before deciding to chat with him, ensuring that the tutor that the student has chosen is reliable and trustworthy.
The results of the diagnostic test, which tests all primary school subjects at once, help to determine the subject which the student requires the most help in.

2. How EducAID will help and what makes it special
EducAID will be able to assist primary school students from
lower income families by providing the students with free tuition services with the help of decentralisation and block chain technology.

EducAID will not only ensure that primary school students will be able to actively engage with the classes, but also cater to every student’s needs. Online interactive tests found on the EducAID app can act as a form of assessment for them to be matched to a tutor specialised in a subject which they appear to be weaker in. The students can then receive free lessons at where the tutor decides to conduct lessons for the subjects they were assigned to based on the activities they have done on the app beforehand, ensuring face-to-face interaction between student and tutor for more efficient learning.

We also ensure that our tutors are constantly improving their
teaching methods and adapting to the learning styles of our
students. The amount of money they earn, in the form of tokens, will be based on their students’ performance in regular tests conducted by people managing the project. Students, who are given a certain amount of non-transferable tokens, can also gift their tutors a small amount of their tokens when they find their tutor’s teaching style commendable. This will act as a form of encouragement for tutors to positively change how they
should teach their students.

Briefly, some of our features in our EducAID app include:
– Online tests, learning modules, quizzes and courses so that students will not be limited to only having additional resources in face to face lessons
– An offline chat function for tutors and students to communicate with one another when face-to-face lessons are not being conducted
– Produce blockchain certificates after a certain milestone for students to validate their progress
– Facilitate transactions between students, tutors and those in charge of the project
– Registration of tutors to join the educAID project

3. The importance of Meshbox in the educAID project
While creating the educAID project, we realised a major problem which we have to consider– our financial feasibility. As our tuition services would mostly be free, it would be difficult as a charitable organisation to install what normal tuition services usually have, such as a hardware tuition centre.

Thus, our project aims to tackle this problem by introducing Meshboxes into our project. The Meshboxes, which we would be selling to tutors as a form of a franchise, will help significantly reduce the costs of our project. The Meshbox will contain all necessary features implemented by EducAID and assist the tutors in tutoring the students. This can be a significant selling point for tutors as the Meshbox will be an all-in-one package for the tutoring lessons, giving the tutors much convenience and allowing them to not have to undergo much preparation in collecting resources for the students. In return, the tutors can benefit the project by taking care of and maintaining the Meshboxes themselves, as well as create their own conducive environments in their own tuition centers for face-to-face lessons. This reduces the costs for maintenance of all meshboxes as well as maintaining our own tuition centre, allowing our project to be more economically feasible.

The Meshboxes will be charged to the tutors through a monthly fee. This will also be more feasible to tutors, especially when they are just starting out their business. Resources will be constantly updated to fit the education’s changing syllabus, as well as provide new features for the Meshbox to be more attractive to tutors and provide them with greater ease in tutoring. The franchise revenue will be our main source of funding for our project.

The features of that our Meshbox will contain include:
– A library of educational resources, courses and games
– Storage of specific tutor’s students’ grades of tests (blockchain)
– Nodes to facilitate the offline chat function
– WiFi Routers for study/ tuition centre users and students

Based on the number of subjects that the student has taken for tutoring and the amount of time he/ she has been in the project, the number of blockchain certificates will accumulate and be permanently stored in the app.
The digital certificate will include various details such as the student’s full name, completed subject and date of completion.

4. The usefulness of block chain in our project
Firstly, by ensuring a distributed and decentralised network, we can ensure that everyone has an equal chance to seek academic help from an expert regardless of their financial situation and background. This is because students will remain anonymous to all in the educAID application (until they meet with their tutor face-to face) and those running the application can only identify them from their public keys. No discrimination can occur and factors regarding their background will be ruled out, allowing the primary school students’ playing field to be leveled out and ensuring equal opportunities for all students to learn.

Furthermore, we will be providing an extra feature to motivate students in continuing to learn passionately with the help of blockchain technology– blockchain certificates. Not only are the certificates something that no party is able to physically tamper, thus being able to accurately show a student’s progress in tuition, the students will also be able to feel more accomplished upon receiving the certificates and be motivated to continue further.

5. How will our transactions work?
A problem we had to tackle was the fear that our project will be exploited by low income students to use the tokens earned from scoring well on tests in the educAID app on items that are not essential to their learning or daily life, causing them to develop unintentional bad spending habits. To tackle that problem, our app will be introducing to students the educAID tokens, a form of SMT tokens that can only be spent on the educAID website where essential school materials, resources and stationary are sold.

The flow chart shown on the left is a description of how tokens are distributed to both the tutors and students respectively. Our main source of revenue, the Meshbox Franchise, as well as other backup alternatives such as public donations, will help to fund our project and allow us to have sufficient tokens to be given out to the various stakeholders

6. Our plan for the Future

Our main goal in the timeline is to ensure sufficient resources, time and manpower to implement a sustainable and efficient project. As we are still students nearing to or in tertiary education studying for our A Levels Examination, we would like to extend out the timeline in order to give ourselves more time for the planning and decision-making process.
Furthermore, as young students who lack experience in blockchain technology and coding, we would like to partner closely with Unifinity and DNAcademy, who are experts in the blockchain and education field, to provide us with the support, skill sets, experience and resources that we lack of. However, as we move further onto the timeline and become more actively involved in the blockchain and education field, we would like to eventually move away from reliance of others and be an independent project. This can help to further reduce costs that can be incurred from partnerships with other companies, as well as allow us to be more in control of our project and decisions.
In order to successfully implement our project, it is inevitable that we will require the support from both the general public and educational institutions. As seen from the phases in our timeline, it is crucial for educational institutions to be in line with our vision and support us by providing us with the data needed to further improvise and change our project accordingly during the pilot programme with that. Hence, we would like to strive for understanding, support and close collaborations with educational institutions in the near future.

7.. How you can help
While EducAID certainly can allow Singapore’s low income primary school students to reap many benefits for their education and learning, the project would not be feasible without a sustainable source of funding for tutors to receive their pay and manage the technology behind our project.

Two main methods which you can consider, if not planning to be actively involved in the project, to help our project and allow us to continue giving free tuition services to these low income students:
– Donating to our project through a GoFundMe page
– Helping to find low income students that require help in their learning and education, and recommending to them our educAID app and project

Alternatively, as a tutor, you can also consider buying the Meshboxes from us, where not only will low income students be assigned to you through the educAID app, allowing you to directly assist them, most resources and helpful features will be provided to you through the Meshbox.