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Meet Firman: a 21-year-old in Indonesia who has been selling newspapers for a living since he dropped out of high school at 17 years old. Firman can’t get a higher paying job because nearly all jobs in Indonesia require a high school diploma.
In Indonesia, every student has to pass an exam to get their high school diploma. Students who make it through high school will take the exam before they graduate. According to Ruangguru, the 7 million students like Firman who drop out of high school can still take the exam later in life, but most need to take classes in an exam prep school before they can pass the exam.
Here’s the problem to Ruangguru:
These prep schools are limited. They’re costly. Some of them may not even provide the best help to take the exam. And, they may require students like Firman to leave their current jobs to be able to attend classes.
How can Ruangguru help?
Ruangguru is a for-profit leader in Indonesia offering all kinds of private tutoring and test prep for students. Like many test prep companies around the world, they offer everything from on-demand tutoring, to test prep classes, to practice questions, to help helpful videos, and even mock exams.
Since 2014, Ruangguru has benefitted more than 3 million students in Indonesia. Most of those students come from privileged, upper class communities who can afford this type of help.
And now, Ruangguru is using their expertise and their platform to launch a new non-profit arm called the Ruangguru Digital Bootcamp. This pilot aims to reach disadvantaged students like Firman who have dropped out of high school and need help to take the exam to get their diploma.
How does it work?
The Ruangguru Digital Bootcamp will provide self-guided test prep materials for free to students like Firman. These can be accessed in Ruangguru’s app if the students have access to internet, but Ruangguru is also working to provide USB drives with the test prep materials for students who don’t have ready internet access.
On top of those materials, the Ruangguru Digital Bootcamp is offering a host of options for tutoring. For example, their app offers group chats for peer-to-peer mentoring and discussion about the test prep materials. These peer discussions are guided by a learning consultant or dedicated tutors.
At the Solve Challenge Finals in September, the Ruangguru Digital Bootcamp was selected to receive prize funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Atlassian Foundation to help run their initial pilot and reach 500 disadvantaged youth across Indonesia.
After the Solve Challenge Finals, that pilot helped Ruangguru take off. Ruangguru saw their main app expand wildly from 3 million users to 7 million users. Ruangguru has been inspired to expand its content capabilities beyond K-12 learning to include online vocational training and skills-based trainings. For example, Ruangguru is planning to work with the Ministry of Industry in Indonesia to help build learning modules around entrepreneurship.
Through these programs, Ruangguru hopes to help people like Firman to earn a high school diploma and access a higher paying job.
Watch Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Ruangguru Muhamad Iman Usman pitch remotely from Indonesia at the Solve Challenge Finals in September before becoming a Solver:
Read the solution application for Ruangguru Digital Bootcamp. Interested in partnering with them as they scale for global impact? Solve wants to hear from you. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Muhamad Iman Usman pitches the Ruangguru Digital Bootcamp at the Solve Challenge Finals in the Youth, Skills, and the Workforce of the Future Challenge, September 17, 2017. (Photo courtesy of MIT Solve)