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Big Story: AltSchool Africa Launches its Second-Biggest Market in Kenya

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The 2021-founded EdTech company AltSchool has announced the opening of its second location in Kenya.

The Nigerian IT company offers programmes designed to accelerate career advancement into international tech positions. By 2030, the startup hopes to have 10 million Africans with employable skills worldwide. As the country manager, Tabitha Kayvu will oversee the Kenyan division.

Adewale Yusuf, co-founder and CEO, claims that Kenya is the company’s second-largest market, after Nigeria. The corporation decided to expand into Kenya as a result of the country’s high enrollment rate.

Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of AltSchool Africa and its launch in Kenya.

What is AltSchool?

All learning activities at AltSchool are electronic because it is an online institution that helps people start a career in technology by providing technical skills. 

By offering courses that are directly related to the chosen programme, AltSchool Africa adopts a non-traditional approach to education. Their primary goal is to assist African students in starting or advancing their technological careers.

With AltSchool, you may advance your IT and tech skills without needing to attend regular universities, which often need four years of study. It varies depending on the individual; it could be a year to acquire employable skills prior to or following your college education, it could be a year to get more experience while you’re still a student, or it could simply be your desire to learn more out of a general curiosity about information technology, regardless of your age, gender, or nationality.

Schools and Tracks

AltSchool Africa has three different schools with different tracks in them. They are:

  • School of Software Engineering: Backend Engineering Track, Cloud Engineering Track, Front End Engineering Track.
  • School of Product: Product Design, Product Management, and Product Marketing
  • School of Data: Data Analysis, Data Engineering, and Data Science.

Please contact AltSchool Africa via the school website here or any of their social media accounts if you have any inquiries about any other course you would like to enroll in.

Read also: Cohort 3 of IT Training for Nigerians: NITDA and Coursera Open Applications

School Duration

The programme lasts for roughly a year and a half. 

During their first semester, all SOE students must take classes in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), and JS (Java Script) to master the fundamentals of website construction. 

This is a really good method because it enables students who are not familiar with programming at all to understand how the internet functions and how web apps, which they will eventually interact with. It would also assist students in refreshing their memories and acclimating to the system—many of whom began their digital journeys through self-learning.

As a follow-up, students receive grades at the end of the first semester, and if they pass, they have to select a track. Then, classes start for the second semester. In the second semester, you would be introduced to your chosen tracks, given practical assignments and tasks, and assessed on your performance through an exam at the end of the term.

In the third semester, students would be working on more practical assignments that would call for them to conduct more thorough research and even test out real-world situations.

Following that, the fourth semester allows students to get ready for job applications, internships, and becoming employable (e.g., building products, interview prep, or writing a marketable CV).

Learning Process

The school takes great satisfaction in offering its students flexible study schedules. Every week at the start of class, the tutors record the lessons in advance and upload them to the LMS (Learning Management System). This provides ample time for the pupils to learn, rehearse, and make notes on concepts they find unclear.

On Wednesday and Saturday nights, tutors conduct live classes during which they go over the weekly curriculum and provide examples. Students also get the opportunity to share their knowledge with peers and ask tutors questions about anything they do not understand.

Extracurricular activities

Right at the door, AltSchool provides extracurricular activities for students. 

These include Town Halls, which are events where general information goes on verbally with students outside of the Slack channel; Fun Fridays, where guests share their experiences, instruct students, or even call on students to speak and interact, among a few other events that are recently in the curriculum.

Students also experience a number of fascinating courses, such as those on soft skills, agile methodologies, interview and CV preparation, and similar topics.

Tuition Fees

Before being admitted to AltSchool Africa, applicants must pay $15,000 to take the admission exam. If they pass, they will then be allowed to enrol in the school. 

The $290 school fee is calculated at the current exchange rate of $700 to the dollar. For Nigerians, the total amount if you want to pay in naira is #203,000 (two hundred and three thousand).

By providing a variety of payment choices, AltSchool was able to simplify payments.

  • Full payment: $290 or #203,000
  • You can pay quarterly — $80 or #56,000
  • Or monthly: $30 or #21,000

Certificate

Every student receives a diploma or certificate at the conclusion of the programme, depending on the subject they took. The Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), California, USA, has verified AltSchool’s exemption, enabling them to award certificate certifications for the courses they offer. Upon completion of their selected learning track, all AltSchool Africa alumni who meet all learning requirements will receive a diploma officially recognised by the state of California!

For those new to technology, AltSchool is an excellent resource since it offers the necessary platform to get started or pursue a serious career in the field. Your ability to study more effectively is improved when you work in groups or on projects with deadlines. 

This provides you with the experience and confidence you need to enter the workforce. We think AltSchool is a fantastic starting point for global talent, and we strongly advise Tech novices to enroll there.

See Also: How AI Has a Big Role in African Union Agenda 2063

What are the Benefits of AltSchool?

Diverse Offerings, Bridging Skill Gaps

AltSchool has expanded its services beyond its core diploma programmes by adding short courses that concentrate on real-world competencies like content development, sales, and even music production. These courses will are in Kenya, where they will be in English with future intentions to investigate teaching Swahili.

Africa confronts a severe skills mismatch, with an astounding 10 million job searchers and only 3 million working throughout the continent. By giving young people useful digital skills in industries like business, analytics, engineering, media, and the creative economy, AltSchool hopes to close this skills gap.

Flexible Education, Sustainable Growth

AltSchool provides customisable pricing for its courses, with monthly options ranging from $20 to $50, in response to concerns about cost. 

Additionally, it makes use of the income-sharing agreement (ISA) concept, which enables students to deduct tuition from their future earnings in percentage terms. A greater spectrum of students can now attend high-quality education thanks to this creative method.

With more than 60,000 students in 105 countries and $3 million in recurring revenue annually, AltSchool exhibits remarkable scope and financial stability. In addition to its $1 million pre-seed fundraising in 2022, it has secured $3 million in May 2023 and a $30 million investment from the Rwandan Innovation Fund.

Deepening Roots, Building the Future

With the words, “We want to deepen our presence in existing countries,” Yusuf highlights AltSchool’s dedication to current markets. 

The goal of AltSchool is to empower the next generation of African digital talent, and this is by its focus on strategic expansion into new markets like Kenya, while maintaining steady growth within its existing territories.

With its extensive offers, adaptable costs, and dedication to local collaborations, AltSchool Africa strives to make a substantial contribution towards narrowing the skills gap and providing African youth with the means to prosper in the digital era.

AltSchool Africa Launches its Second-Biggest Market in Kenya

Finally, AltSchool Africa has launched its virtual academy in Kenya. This comes after almost a full year of preparation and planning for the launch. The institution, which has primarily operated out of Nigeria and Uganda and has more than 60,000 students spread throughout 105 countries, made the decision to go one step further in strengthening its ties throughout the continent.

Oluwanifemi Akinwamide, Head of Growth and Partnerships, explained that despite the debut, the edtech business has not been affected by geography up until this point, with tens of thousands of students in more than 100 countries finding success with virtual lessons. Kenya is, nevertheless, its second-largest market in terms of enrollments throughout all of this.

The school decided it was essential to expand enrollment and base its operations in East Africa due to the significant number of students enrolling from that nation. Oluwanifemi claims that AltSchool’s goal is to train as many Africans as possible in in-demand skills. Since Kenya has a sizable market and a population eager to learn both technical and non-technical skills, it only made sense for them to have a presence there.

Localising the AltSchool experience

As AltSchool already operates in Rwanda, Kenya will not be its first East African country of launch; however, securing Kenya’s launch would enable the firm to expand its East African market significantly. 

Undoubtedly, one of the main objectives is this. Attempting to localise the AltSchool experience—which has mostly seemed to be a Nigerian affair—is another objective.

The idea isn’t simply to start something new in Kenya, but rather to make sure that the school’s current initiatives include some locally relevant content and activities.

The school added that the payment procedure for students in Kenya will alter as a result of its arrival. Prior to today, students made their payments using Stripe. 

However, the business is currently investigating the potential for local payment collection in the market. In order to ensure that whatever the school is offering to the Kenyan market is also affordable—something that is extremely essential to the school—it is working on the prospect of collecting local payment via Mpesa and other local means.

AltSchool could pivot to physical campuses in the future

Kenya will be the third nation where AltSchool is present. One could argue that since education is entirely online, there’s really no reason to be in these countries. This is particularly true given that the firm has successfully trained over 60,000 people in 105 countries with few problems.

So, is there a possibility that the necessity of being present in these nations might indicate a shift—however slight—into the domain of in-person instruction? Is it possible that in the future, there may be AltSchool campuses spread out over the continent? The Head of Growth explains that although this launch does not in any way portend a move towards in-person instruction, there is a room for improvement. 

The school added that it received a Certificate of Exemption from the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPE) board, which allowed it to expand quickly across more than 100 countries. It is able to provide its programmes all over the world thanks to this certificate. However, the school is still seeking to collaborate with Kenyan partner universities whose objectives coincide, just as it did in Nigeria.

AltSchool: Content creation, Music Business, and Expanding Curriculum 

With the addition of content development, sales, and music business to its curriculum, AltSchool Africa has expanded its services. The curriculum uses Afrobeats as a case study. 

The newly established schools of business and the creative economy will house the new courses. Applications were also accepted for the first cohort of the aforementioned study areas through the skill-to-market platform. 

This action comes after an incredible 40% of the first year’s tasks were completed. A press release that AltSchool provided states that a few well-known figures were hired by the company to teach the new courses. 

As partner teachers at the creative economy school, the Nigerian musicians Falzthebahdguy (Folarin Falana) and well-known content creator Mr. Macaroni will lead sessions. Do2tun (Oladotun Ojuolape Kayode), a popular on-air personality, will be the director of Creator Relations.  

Aproko Doctor (Chinonso Egemba), a content developer and medical doctor, award-winning journalist Joey Akan, and Nigerian film filmmaker Nora Awolowo will serve as facilitators at the business school. 

The CEO and co-founder of AltSchool Africa, Adewale Yusuf, offered his thoughts on the news. He disclosed that the platform chose the business and creative economy sectors primarily due to their remarkable growth and the goal of assisting individuals in beginning their careers in such fields. 

A Statista analysis projecting the music streaming market to reach $362.50 million in 2023 supports Yusuf’s statement.  Another market to keep an eye on is that of content creators.  

The Impact

An increasing number of tech-savvy people have the opportunity to upskill and increase their chances of getting their ideal job by using platforms like AltSchool Africa. Nevertheless, a lot of these projects bootstrap their work or rely largely on investors. Since there are only so many options available, most stakeholders usually support government assistance.

Head of Operations Rachel Onoja responded that government support will speed up AltSchool’s attempts to reach millions of learners across Africa when asked what impact it would have on the organisation.

“For example, the AltSchool for Schools (or AltX) project is an endeavour that uses our learning programmes and infrastructure to assist secondary schools and postsecondary institutions throughout the continent in updating their curricula to reflect the realities of the twenty-first century. We can considerably speed up the process of reaching students throughout the continent with government assistance”, Onoja said. 

AltSchool: Navigating the Prevailing Burden of Course Fees 

Even though IT jobs are attractive, especially in terms of money, education is frequently pricey. Expensive courses are usually viewed as unaffordable given the present economic circumstances in Nigeria and other nations on the continent.

While Onoja was contacted for her thoughts on the matter, curious about what steps AltSchool is taking to make its resources accessible to the typical student. According to her, AltSchool places a high priority on making it simple for students to understand the employable skills it teaches. As a result, the platform has frequently changed, mostly focusing on the affordability aspect.

Edtech Platforms Changing the Way We Learn in Africa 

The world of today is becoming an increasingly tech-driven one. The ability to code is unquestionably necessary for anyone wishing to succeed in the modern digital environment. Professionals in other businesses as well as the technology sector are gradually starting to rely on it.    

Despite several institutional and infrastructural obstacles, coding provides African developers with an opportunity to improve society and generate income. According to a report by Google and the World Bank’s IFC, the internet economy in Africa will grow at a quick pace and contribute $180 billion, or 5.2% of the continent’s GDP, by 2025.

This is a list of African locations where you can take a coding course in 2024. These include Audax code school, Utiva, DevCareer, HiiT plc, Moat Academy, Decagon, Univelcity, and Anchorsoft Academy.

Moat Academy

In Lagos, Nigeria, Moat Academy provides 16-week part-time and 11-week full-time software engineering courses. Version control, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, PHP, and Python are all covered in the curriculum for these two programmes.

The course will cover advanced subjects in PHP or Python, including building websites and web apps, managing emails, sessions, user authentication, file manipulation, form validation, developing APIs, connecting to online services, and more.

Decagon

Software developers can learn additional soft skills and full-stack software development in an intense 6-month programme offered by Decagon. Learning programming languages including Java, Node,.NET, Python, Android, and iOS is part of the curriculum.

Engineers get the tools and leadership mentality necessary to compete in any team, anywhere in the world, through an agile delivery approach, mentor matching, and leadership modules.

Univelcity

This is a technology academy and established in 2016 by Joseph Agunbiade, a co-founder of BudgIT, a company that uses technology to engage citizens. Univelcity, formerly known as Switch Code Academy, provides intensive, fast-paced training online and on-site. Fullstack Development, Product Design (UI/UX), Frontend (CSS, HTML & JavaScript), Backend with Python Django, Data Science, Ethical Hacking, and Machine Learning are among the topics covered in onsite training courses.

Anchorsoft Academy

A training facility for software engineers is called Anchorsoft Academy. Known as one of the best coding schools in Lagos, Nigeria, they provide training in software development for web, mobile, and restful APIs.

They provide free courses in areas such as UI/UX Design, Database Development and Administration, QA Testing & DevOps, and Cloud (IaaS & PaaS) in addition to software development training.

There are three timetable segments for the training programme: regular, weekend, and on-demand training. Graduates, undergraduates, and secondary school dropouts are the target audience for the regular training.

Utiva

Through a collaborative and remote learning methodology, Utiva is a technology business that facilitates Africans’ access to digital skills. Employers can see potential and talents thanks to the platform.

In addition to its programming school, Utiva also offers marketing, data, design, product, cloud computing, blockchain development, and design courses. Programming basics are the main emphasis of the training course on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and React.

DevCareer

Africa’s emerging developers might get assistance from the nonprofit organisation DevCareer. The school offers high-performance computers, a coworking environment, free online courses, and ongoing mentorship for three months to selected candidates in addition to teaching software development for African talents.

HiiT Plc

HiiT, one of the nation’s first programming schools, has been offering instruction, advice, and development solutions for over 20 years. Its software engineering curriculum includes Microsoft, Python, and Java classes.

The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN)-accredited IT Training Centres in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, and other locations around the country host on-site classes.

New Horizons

With more than 15 years of experience in Nigeria, New Horizons Nigeria is an ICT training and exam testing centre. You will learn programming languages including HTML5, CSS, Javascript, Microsoft Tech (C#), Python programming, Java technology, and so on at the training centre.

Classes are scheduled for individuals, schools, and business organisations both on-site and virtually. Lagos (Ikeja, Surulere, Festac, Lekki), Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ado-Ekiti, Ogbomosho, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and (newly opened) Akure are among the locations of New Horizons’ training centres.

Audax Code School

The goal of Audax Code School is to help Nigerian primary and secondary school children become more digitally literate by teaching them to code in an enjoyable and cooperative setting. By giving them brief courses in Python, Web applications with Python, Javascript, CSS, HTML, and the fundamentals of programming, it hopes to prepare children for a career in technology.

The length of the programme is one to two months. Established in 2013, Audax Code School was recognised in 2014 with a Google Arise Award for its efforts to offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to underprivileged students.

You can also check out: Rising Unemployment: Botswana Youths Take to Teaching English Online to Asian Students

AltSchool: Beyond Nigeria, Across Africa

AltSchool only provides online instruction. Its broad curriculum encompasses business, data, engineering, media, and the creative economy, in contrast to BloomTech. For the duration of those courses, it also charges $20 to $50 per month. 

Additionally, it uses the income-sharing agreement (ISA) model, which is typical of online edtech businesses like ALX. The company works to match students with internships in order to make this work. finally attempting to make sure they obtain employment. 

Up till now, AltSchool has helped over 20,000 students in eight different African nations. The startup is dedicated to giving young Africans the know-how and abilities they need to create long-lasting jobs both inside and outside of the technology sector.

Only roughly 3 million of the 10 million young people who enter the labour field are able to find employment or make enough money to support themselves. Youth unemployment has been a recurring issue throughout Africa. Young people can acquire skills that are in demand worldwide with the help of edtechs like AltSchool.

This was AltSchool’s second fundraising round following the announcement in 2022 of $1 million in venture capital and angel money for pre-seed funding. Among the investors in the round were Voltron Capital and Obda VC; other investors included Nigerian musician Folarin “Falz” Falana and Paystack’s Sola Akinlade.

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Oluwatobi Olowe
Oluwatobi Olowe

Tobi Olowe has over 3 years of experience as a content writer specializing in Tech discoveries, site optimization, building content that rank well and boosting overall site performance.

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