Technology is transforming the education sector, both inside and outside the classroom. From online courses and degrees to optimizing connectivity between teachers and parents, educational technologies are revolutionizing the world of education.
A natural-born entrepreneur since the early age of six, Amani Abu Tair started her entrepreneurial journey setting up a makeshift candy shop in front of her home. From that point on, and with the support of her family, Amani turned to the world of code, and developed her first educational game, while still in high school.
Abu Tair had finally found her calling and graduated with a mechatronics engineering degree, and in no time secured her first patent, for an ambitious device, designed to help the blind read and write. This experience taught her an invaluable lesson on how to run a company and opened up the doors for her to explore the world of education technologies. Undeterred, Abu Tair kept on her path and soon after founded Wazza in 2017, which has since achieved considerable success.
MENACatalyst met with Abu Tair to learn how her latest entrepreneurial pursuit, Wazza, is helping educators keep parents across the MENA region up-to-date with their children’s progress and in-school activities.
What exactly is Wazza?
Wazza is a management and communication platform designed for the education sector but currently optimized for preschools. Our AI-powered platform lets teachers manage all administrative and communication activities, reach out to parents, and keep them updated around the clock.
With Wazza, teachers can take student attendance, manage and document activities, and instantly share it with parents, as well as the school’s administration. To access these features, or download previous attendance and activity reports, teachers can sign in to the mobile dashboard using their personalized accounts. This helps teachers become more efficient while keeping parents in the know. And privacy is one of our main priorities, so teachers and users won't need to share any sensitive information, including their private phone numbers.
How does Wazza work for teachers and administrators?
To make an account, teachers and administrators can download the app on their device, mobile, or other. They can then enjoy all Wazza has to offer. For teachers, this means creating a digital classroom with interactive calendars and student profiles, depending on the teacher and class. The profile includes all relevant information about the child, including their contact details. Teachers can use this information to contact parents in case of an emergency or to set up a meeting. And again, teachers can send individual notes to parents or share them on the class page for all to see.
Apart from keeping up with attendance, teachers can upload and share all the activities, progress reports, and assignments on their dedicated classroom page. Teachers only have access to their class and students' profiles while administrators, on the other hand, have full access to all content and features offered by our platform.
How does Wazza work for Parents?
If their children attend a school implementing the Wazza platform, parents can download the mobile application or make an account on their computers, and instantly keep up with their child’s progress at school; when they get to school, when they leave, and all the daily activities and upcoming events.
Today, schools rely on instant messaging applications like WhatsApp to reach out to parents. And what happens is that all parents end up grouped in a single chat. With Wazza, every teacher and parent can connect directly, without having to scroll through a lot of messages.
Wazza also allows parents to become more engaged in their child’s education, both inside and outside the classroom. We also ensure the privacy of our users, so that private information like phone numbers stay private.
What is Wazza’s target market?
Our focus is on MENA markets, and the reason is that the region currently has the highest population growth rate in the world. It’s not our only market, but it’s our first.
Further, governments are now investing in this sector and are looking to integrate the latest technologies into early age learning, ultimately providing a more integrated experience for all stakeholders, including students, teachers, and parents alike. So we believe that this is the right time for us to introduce the region to Wazza. And because we are B2B, we are targeting schools, more specifically teachers and administrators of pre-schools and kindergartens.
Who makes up the Wazza team?
We have a committed team of seven at Wazza, who are exceptionally talented and passionate about innovating with education technology. I am the Founder and CEO, and I was part of Forbes annual 30 under 30. Our team includes CTO Rezaq Awad, Senior iOS developer Mohammad Hamad, Senior Backend Developer Ahmad Abdeen, Content Specialist Asma Abu Telakh, Operation Coordinator Jana Abu Tair, and in Business Development, Nadine Sultan.
What are some of your most notable achievements to date?
In terms of achievements, we have participated in Mass Challenge Accelerator and were also part of Google Launch Pad. We also got to represent our startup at the World Economic Forum, and I represented Wazza at the Women Economic Forum in China and India. We were the regional winners for WSIS, and I am proud to have been selected by Forbes as one of its annual Under 30 Global Women’s Summit 2019, where I had the amazing opportunity to share my journey with aspiring entrepreneurs from across the globe. And most recently, Wazza was accepted to Dubai Future Accelerator’s seventh Cohort.
What is the impact you are working to achieve?
As a female founder, I believe that I have the chance to lead an empowering company, one that inspires others to do the same. Whenever I hire new people, I try to choose to hire more females because many don’t have the chance to work at larger companies if they don’t seem to conform to general stereotypes in our communities.
Beyond this, with Wazza, we want to enhance the educational experience for students, parents, teachers, and even administrators. With our platform, teachers can optimize their day better, and spend more time on what’s important; teaching, so that children can begin their academic journey on a high note.
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