With 63% internet penetration, online learning is becoming one of the most cost-effective ways to educate the world. However, the remaining 37% remain deprived of this facility. Thus, to ensure education to all, Tyrocity is redefining the education system through its online and offline modules.
To know more about Tyrocity, read about the conversation we had with Angel Paudel, co-founder/Executive Director and Susham Rajbhandari, cofounder/Development Director at Tyrocity.
1. Can you give us a brief introduction to Tyrocity?
Tyrocity envisions the education system of the country to be redefined through active engagement and discussions. We are trying to make education simple for students by bringing the right information to your fingertips. Through our digital platform, we provide notes to the students which can be used as pre-session or after session reading material making learning and understanding better and effective. Unavailability of notes was one of the major problems we faced as students ourselves.
Apart from text notes, we also have video lectures in association with Deerwalk learning center for students from Grade 1 to Grade 10. Besides, the students can also interact with other students, raise questions and get answers to their queries via our discussion forum. Other services that our platform provides are college and institution’s information with brief details of more than 2000 colleges and registered consultancies. And with Article Hub, the platform also provides space for students to showcase their creativity. Tyrocity aims to reach all over Nepal regardless of internet availability. The company is moving ahead with a belief that education should be accessible to all regardless of their background.
2. How was Tyrocity ideated?
Back then during the high school days, we came up with the idea of Tyrocity. Initially, it was simply a Blogspot that developed over time and as of now, Tyrocity is a web-based platform, a platform that goes beyond education and has served over 12 million learners. Along with academic notes, we are also focusing on providing soft skill training to the younger generation, which we observed is lacking in students these days. We officially started Tyrocity in 2070 Ashad 1 as an extension to the previous Blogspot and web platform.
3. How have you been working on enhancing soft skills?
For this, we have our flagship program, Leadership Hour which enhances leadership skills and helps take things from a user perspective. Depending on the requirement – it is either a single day or multi-day program that follows design thinking methodology and is about identifying the root cause of a problem and then only, thinking about the possible solutions. To make the program more effective, we are also working on forming a committee of students, where students themselves will empower other students. The major motive of this workshop is to create a chain effect whereby the students we have trained will in future train another group of students.
4. Have you conducted any of the Leadership Hour programs?
Yes, so far we have conducted 8 workshops. One of the workshops was conducted in Okhaldhunga, a remote village of Nepal which was the first time for Tyrocity. The workshop mainly targeted students from Grade 10 and below. One of our team members, Elisha, was involved in that particular workshop. We ourselves got to learn the necessity and the impact of soft skills in children of such small and tender age. We have also hosted similar workshops at colleges and educational institutions to impart soft skills training. Occasionally, we do also call for applications to host workshops in selected venues.
5. How do you get all the notes and validate their authenticity?
When we were students back then we compiled the notes ourselves. Now other students themselves are the source of notes which are further validated by academics before they get uploaded. We also have volunteers who frequently contribute the resources. Furthermore, we have teachers and academics who provide us the notes. To ensure that the notes are precise and correct, they are checked and rechecked by our team as well as other teachers and academics. Additionally, we also have feedback features included on the website, where the students can report mistakes. This way we have been maintaining authenticity.
6. You talked about a soft skills workshop for children below grade 10. But it is often believed that these sets of skills are required and developed only during/ after higher levels of qualification like Bachelors and Masters. What is your say on this?
I believe where you live is central when addressing this question; I personally think that soft skills are needed in every age but sadly they aren’t given much importance here in Nepal. However, the world is giving much more importance to soft skills and we need not go too far. In India, we see children at their early age doing great things which unfortunately is considered beyond the imagination of people here in Nepal. So according to me the earlier you start the better it is for the child, for the community, society, and nation as a whole.
7. What makes Tyrocity unique?
The services we provide students is something that makes us unique. We are not limited to only one aspect; we go beyond notes. We have information on consultancies, news and articles, video lectures and free advice to students. The students have the option of submitting their queries online which are answered usually within 48 hours by experts. In addition to this, we also have discussion forums where students can interact and assist one another. Likewise apart from online modules, like said earlier, we also have offline modules under which we have workshops, training, seminars for the students. So, we believe that these are the things that make Tyrocity unique.
8. Any specific reason for the name Tyrocity?
The meaning of the word “Tyro” is a beginner and “city” means the center of people or a community. We wanted to build a community of young learners where diverse people from different fields of life come together to help each other to build a better future. So, Tyrocity has been built with this view at its core and hence the name Tyrocity.
9. Since the majority of your programs and services are free of cost, how do you sustain?
All the costs for the workshop are either borne by the sponsors or the institution hosting the workshop – ensuring that the students don’t have to pay for it. However, that isn’t always sustainable. We are also working on persuading the colleges and educational institutions to pay the fees for the workshops. Apart from this, we have the entrance examination preparation system currently being re-developed which we expect to be a main source of revenue. We are also generating revenue from the advertisements and we also have a web hosting platform, Babal Host, and all the profits from Babal Host is used for the operation of Tyrocity.
10. What are your future plans for Tyrocity?
Our short term goal would be to complete the entrance preparation system and roll out in the market. We also want to kickstart our college ambassadorship program, which would establish leaders in each of the institutions and pass on their learning to their fellow friends. While doing all these, we slowly would also like to make the notes more sophisticated, user-friendly, and increase its credibility. As of now, we have noted up to Grade 12 and notes for BA LLB so we will be working on that too.
11. Any unique experience you’d like to share with us?
During our leadership hour workshops, we collected a lot of positive feedback from the students and they really thanked us for organizing such an event and hoped they would be able to participate in even more. Likewise, in an exhibition that we were a part of, we met a girl who said that she passed her high school using our notes, that particular feedback gave us the validity that we have been able to help students. So, these experiences are not only unique but also motivating us to further improve and continue working for the students.
12. How has your journey been so far?
Susham: Entrepreneurial journey is never easy. We are revamping our business model which is challenging and tiresome. We are still exploring and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. And yes a great team matters a lot and I am fortunate that I am part of the Tyrocity team.
Angel: It has been a learning journey, every step, every decision we make teach us new and valuable things. With time along with Tyrocity, all of us have personally grown. To be precise, it has been an emotional roller-coaster filled with learning on each turn.
13. Any other information you’d like to share with us?
Susham: I just like to say that the world is changing, getting smaller and we are all becoming part of a global village. With such accessibility, we should use the internet to our benefit and continue making the world a better place to live in.
Angel: Since we are working in the education sector, I’d like to say that soft skills need to be given more priority rather than just theoretical aspects. We see a graduate student who doesn’t know how to compose an email, communicate with the clients and as such – all these skills are basic but vital when one steps in the corporate world. So, the educational institutions and students themselves should work in gaining soft skills to be future-ready.
Interviewed and article by Trishna Shakya.