AkadsPH, an online tutoring service, offers one-on-one tutorial sessions to students who undergo its matching system. Clients can book and pay on a single platform.
“Most of the tutorial services that transitioned to offer online tutorials have unorganized booking systems and limited payment modes,” said Angela Nicole M. Mercado, chief executive officer of AkadsPH. “They operate mainly on Facebook and Zoom, which could be time-consuming for busy parents who wouldn’t want to go through multiple platforms just to book a tutor.”
Students are matched to a tutor in the AkadsPH platform based on the details they include in their profile. All eligible tutors are notified afterwards, with the first one to accept getting the booking.
The platform also has a chat feature, which allows for easy communication among parents, tutors, and students; email and text notifications, to remind parents of upcoming tutorial sessions for their children; a files drive similar to Google Drive, to help a tutor align with the current lessons of the student; and a favorite tutor function, for parents who prefer to book a particular tutor.
Akads Meet, the platform’s video call component, provides a stable learning experience by adjusting each call’s video quality based on the tutor and the student’s Internet connection.
“Being software scalable, we can easily add helpful features that can make this experience better for both parents and tutor,” said Gabriel Lucas M. Reganit, chief strategy officer of Akads.
AkadsPH, which launched with the help of startup incubator QBO Innovation Hub, targets parents of students in grades 1 to 10 who are affected by the closure of tutorial centers due to the pandemic. It has conducted over 180 sessions with 26 students since its launch in January, with most of its clients coming from private schools in Metro Manila. It has also onboarded 84 college-student tutors.
A rigorous application process is conducted for its tutors, which includes assessments that weigh heavily on mock tutorials, said Ms. Mercado. “Most of our tutors are college students who can teach Math, English, Filipino, and Science, which is why we only offer these subjects for now.”
Parents usually book math tutorials for their children, added Mr. Reganit. “We ensure that we enrich the student’s knowledge by giving exercises during and after the session to promote mastery and constant practice,” he said. “Parents are satisfied because of the improvement of their kid’s grades.”
Technavio, a global technology research and advisory company, forecasts the global K-12 online tutoring market to grow by $60.03 billion during 2019-2023, progressing at a compound annual growth rate of 12% during the forecast period. Forty-eight percent of this growth will originate from the Asia Pacific region. One of the key drivers for this market will be the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.
A report released in December 2020 by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) said that the Philippines fared worst among 58 countries in an assessment for mathematics and science for Grade 4 students. The Philippines scored 297 in math and 249 in science, according to the IEA’s Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019.
“Seeing as students in this generation live in a digital age, schools and tutorials would be able to teach better by adapting technology in their education programs,” said Mr. Reganit. “We aim to address these gaps starting with online tutoring. Looking forward, we believe that digitizing education will empower students to help them achieve their academic goals and beyond.”
AkadsPH offers a free one-hour trial session. Rates range from P500 for an hour to P6,760 for 15 hours. — Patricia B. Mirasol