Obami is a free and secure web-based platform that facilitates communication between learners, teachers, parents, and educational administrators. The platform is accessible through the web, mobile phone, SMS or email. It seeks to combine social networking tools with a virtual learning environment, and recreates online communities that exist in real school life e.g. science class. Obami allows for content delivery by enabling users to directly upload a variety of resources aligned with the curriculum, e.g. PDFs, presentations, videos, newsletters, etc. The platform similarly allows for the uploading and sharing of materials related to other key topics of interest for student knowledge building, such as AIDS awareness and education programs, as well as anti-rape and abuse campaigns.
Beyond content delivery, Obami facilitates communication between the various users through a variety of channels (Obami messages, instant messaging, SMS, etc.) Moreover, Obami provides teaching and learning features as well as assignment and test assessment tools. A bank of pre-loaded educational resources provided by partners already exists and teachers are able to upload their own content. Obami is also in the process of digitizing National Senior Certificate examination papers to be uploaded onto the platform. Only registered schools are able to join the community. Additionally, Obami’s software has been customized to automatically reflect the network of each school. As soon as a student registers, for example, he/she will be able to interact with everyone in his/her grade, as well as with any of his/her teachers.
Obami seeks to support the development of 21st century skills including communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and knowledge building skills.
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CEI approaches in actionSchool supportSchool operations or managementStudent support21st century skills (soft skills)
Model details2009For-profitComprehensive curriculum21st century skills (soft skills)ActiveLong-term projectFree service or product22,000
Obami is free to all primary and secondary schools. Obami hosts countless resources, including workbooks from the Department of Basic Education, across multiple languages, all of which can be downloaded to the user's account at no cost.
- 30,000 users: 22,000 are learners; 3,000 are parents; 3,000 are teachers and the remaining consists of partners.
- In addition to the 7 full-time staff, there are 3 part-time staff members.
- Obami was initially only implemented in South Africa, but is now being used in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
- The organization has grown from one permanent staff member to seven. The number of schools using Obami has grown to 310.
- The product itself has developed from a simple social networking tool to include content, assignments, and administrative capabilities.
- The platform can now also serve third party edutainment resources.
- Obami seeks to expand its offerings to other countries in Africa, and update its bank of resources to keep them relevant to various school contexts.
- Obami plans to assess the efficacy of the program by comparing Obami users' ANA (annual national assessment) and NSC (National Senior Certificate) results with national average results.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Obami monitors the number of users visiting and returning to the portal. Internal qualitative surveys are run using Obami's assessment module and the administrators monitor the newsfeed to detect any potential problems on the platform.User satisfactionTeacher retentionStudent retentionIncreased enrollmentNo