Students won’t even have to get out of bed to access tutoring services

A Wits student is launching a tutoring app which allows students and tutors from various universities to engage with each other in tackling challenging subjects.

Tutling, the name of the company and the app, was introduced to the Wits community by one of the founders, Ntsundeni Ndou, a chemical engineering master’s student on August 22 at an event at Umthombo building.

The app is expected to go live on September 15, and will be available on Google Play and Apple’s App store.

Ndou said, to register, aspirant tutors “can select a maximum of three subjects that they want to tutor”.

“They then go through a process of entering their marks and uploading their ID documents and transcripts onto the system. Once registered, they will receive a confirmation email with a link, so that they are able to update their profile,” he said. Tutors must have achieved a minimum of 65% for the subject they wish to tutor.

Students that need tutoring have an option to choose whether they want to be tutored through a video session or via text. “[They] will then be able to request a tutor instantly, or schedule an appointment on the app. The system will then match them with the best one,” he added.

Ndou, 23, has two partners, Tshifhiwa Munzhelele, who is completing articles as a chartered account and Excellent Muvhango, who is the founder of Muvex, a company that packages learning material into digital content. The three initially started a non-profit organisation, Bono foundation in January 2015, which provides tutoring services to high school learners.

“When we were providing the tutoring services, we noticed that the process of going to the venue and spending money on transport was too long. We launched this app for students because they have easier access to WiFi.

“We launched the company (Tutling) in November 2018 and have been developing the app ever since. It makes everything easier. You can just wake up and request a tutor without the long process,” said Ndou.

While the app aims to provide academic assistance, as a business Tutling needs to be sustainable, Ndou said. “The rates are charged per hour and vary depending on a student’s levels of study. First-year students will pay R50 for a text session and R150 for a video call.” For second-year students the charges are R60 and R180, and R70 and R200, for both third and fourth years.

The app uses a Payfast system and students are expected to pay at the beginning of every session. The tutor receives 80% of the fee paid, while Tutling receives 20%.

“The tutor does not get paid immediately. We will reconcile every month to ensure that payments are made to the relevant parties,” Ndou told Wits Vuvuzela.

Malamba Nemavhadwe, a second-year actuarial sciences student, suggested that Tutling should consider partnering with bursary providers, “so students are able to use the services even if they don’t have money in their account”.

In attendance at the launch, which was hosted by law student council secretary Minkateko Majoko, was SRC academic officer Palesa Mofokeng and Muimeleli Mutangwa, founder of Tailor Cleanik, a shoe cleaning and repair business in Braamfontein.

Mutangwa lauded Ndou for his entrepreneurship spirit and encouraged other students to do the same, saying they needed to make use of the unlimited resources on campus to look for opportunities that will sustain them after graduation.

FEATURED IMAGE: Ntsundeni Ndou at the launch of the Tutling app.