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In an effort to assist Ethiopian high school students in exam preparation and bridge the educational gap, tech startup Botter (LangBot Inc.) has introduced Teacheru, an AI-powered study assistant that operates on the popular messaging platform Telegram.

Teacheru, which was launched around two months ago, provides several key features to support students’ learning journey. Through its Telegram chatbot, students can ask questions and receive AI-generated answers that reference relevant text from their textbooks, even specifying page numbers for further reading.

Additionally, Teacheru offers interactive quizzes based on past exams, enabling students to test their knowledge and prepare effectively. By answering questions correctly, students can earn points and compete for positions on subject-specific leaderboards, incorporating an element of gamification into the learning experience. Furthermore, Teacheru facilitates the convenient download of textbooks and other valuable resources, ensuring access to essential study materials.

“The goal is to ensure that every student, regardless of their location or background, can benefit from a personal tutor and learn at their own pace. Telegram was chosen as the platform for Teacheru, ensuring accessibility for students with limited digital skills or resources. Even those with weak internet connections or basic smartphones can easily utilize Teacheru’s features,” said Nathnael Gossaye Co-founder of Botter.

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Nathnael, together with Rémi Veyrier, cofounded Botter (Langbot, Inc.) five years ago. Botter serves as a platform for creating conversational courses that are delivered inside popular messaging apps that learners use daily.

“The first bot we created to teach languages has been used by over 300,000 learners around the world and won $20,000 from Facebook’s Bots for Messenger Challenge,” said Nathnael.

Botter has also received pre-seed funding from Injini Edtech Ventures and has been used by different clients to deliver lessons on critical career skills.

“Teacheru is built on the solid foundation of our Botter platform and uses the latest advancements in AI to deliver its features. The generous grant of 1.25 billion GPT 3.5 tokens from OpenAI has been essential to keeping Teacheru free for students and enabling us to drive further innovation in education,” said Nathnael.

When students ask questions, Teacheru’s custom chatgpt integration searches through the Ethiopian textbooks from grades 9 to 12 to provide accurate answers with references for further reading.

Although initially focusing on students in grades 9 to 12 due to the pressing need for exam preparation, Teacheru has plans to expand its coverage to encompass additional grades and university-level content. The company is exploring partnerships with various institutions to deliver lessons on vital subjects such as financial and digital literacy, language learning, and entrepreneurship.

Since its launch, Teacheru has received an inspiring response from students. In less than two months, the platform has attracted nearly 25,000 users. Students have actively engaged with Teacheru, asking it questions over 190,000 times. They have also correctly answered questions from past exams over 380,000 times. The Teacheru study group on Telegram has grown to over 5,700 members, fostering active participation and the exchange of over 18,000 messages.

While Teacheru remains free for students until the upcoming entrance exams, the team is developing premium content to support the platform’s sustainability, focusing on university and adult learners.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.