Steven Kyanda invents a pupils’ quiz app

Wednesday January 22 2020
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Kyanda become a self-taught information technology professional even after failing to enroll at university due to financial constraints. PHOTOS BY ESTHER OLUKA

Usually, the first thing a child opens when they land on their parents’ phone is YouTube or any site from where they can download games. This way, instead of doing homework, a child takes hours just playing games.
Because of this, Steven Kyanda, 22, used his love for technology to develop an app that pupils can access to study.

“Like everybody else, I noticed that children spend a lot of time on smartphones playing games. So, I thought of developing an educational app they can visit instead,” says Kyanda adding that it is a way of enabling pupils revise online.

The idea of developing the application came up in October 2019. Kyanda, (using his already acquired technology skills and knowledge) began working on it immediately and by December 2019, he had finalised most of the processes involved. Then, on January 3, 2020, he hit the ground running by officially launching the app and its corresponding website, which he named Totoquiz. In some local dialects, Toto means child.

How it works
Totoquiz offers quizzes from Primary One to Primary Seven. The quizzes are objective questions with a set of options available for one to choose an answer. Kyanda explains that accessing the quiz questions is easy since once you have an internet connection, all you need is to visit the totoquiz website.

Once there, the pupil will be required to create an account using a user name and password which will be used every time one needs to access the website. “Children may be assisted by either a parent or guardian,” Kyanda says.

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Children try out Kyanda’s Totoquiz App. Kyanda used his love for technology to develop the app.

Once the password has been approved, one will be automatically redirected to the quiz page where they will be able to see a list of classes.

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“Then, click on your class and start taking the quizzes for that class,” he says, adding that once all the questions have been attempted, you will be given marks and one can then proceed to another set of questions.”

For diversity, a team keeps updating and changing the questions per class. Kyanda works with Sharon Rachel Nabbosa, 22, the content creator and Loerich Nasaba, 20, the social media marketer.

Challenges
Right now, the biggest obstacle Kyanda and his team are facing is funding.

“To run the website, money is required for a number of things including buying data and visiting schools to get past examination papers. But we do not have that money,” Kyanda says.

It is because of limited funds that Kyanda and his colleagues are opting to use money from their own pockets to run the website, for now.

“Thank God I have a passionate team willing to use their own resources to run the application,” he says.

The past papers gathered give them an idea of the questions set in primary schools. They do not just copy and paste the questions from the papers directly onto the website. Rather, they use them for guidance when setting their own.

In the near future, Kyanda will rely more on subscription, a business model, he hopes will bring in some money.

“At a later time, clients will need to pay a small fee in order to access the service,” he says, adding that now, the quizzes are free of charge.

Love of technology
Kyanda says his love for technology started in childhood.

“I have always been passionate about anything associated with technology. For example, at family events, I would watch the DJ as they mixed their music, always wondering how their computer works,” he says. “Even when it came to either games or programmes, I was always eager to know how they were developed.”

It was this love that pushed Kyanda to become a self-taught information technology professional even after failing to enroll at university due to financial constraints.

“I completed my Senior Six examinations in 2015 at Good Counsel Senior Secondary School in Gayaza. I was, however, unable to join university due to limited finances,” he says.

“In any case, rather than sit at home feeling sorry for myself, I continued using different resources to learn more about information technology. One of them was through YouTube tutorials.”

Help
Along the way, Kyanda says he has had senior software developers such as Jacob Wasswa, Muzafal Naserenga and Lydia Sanyu as his mentors. The team also helped him develop a community mobile application called traffica where individuals share constant traffic updates.

Besides utilising YouTube tutorials and mentors, he also studied a few online courses in order to keep up with the latest technology. When he eventually earns enough money, Kyanda would like to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

Inspiration
Kyanda looks up to technology gurus Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook co-founder) and the late Steve Jobs (Apple computer co-founder) as his biggest sources of inspiration.

“Mark and Steven, in their respective fields, invented the biggest technology innovations existing in the world today. If they could do it, I too can,” Kyanda concludes.

How to access the Totoquiz
•While connected to the internet, type www.totoquiz.com.
•You will then be directed to the Totoquiz page. If you are accessing the page for the first time, create an account using a username and password. You will then automatically be redirected onto the quiz page.
•On this quiz page, there is a list of classes from Primary One to Seven.
•Select the class you want and the questions for that class will appear.
•Once all the questions have been attempted, the results will come up automatically. You can either log out or answer other sets of questions.
•The earlier given user name and password are initials one uses every time they are logging onto website.

Family and education background
•Kyanda completed Primary Seven in 2009 at St. Savio Junior School in Kisubi. He completed Senior Four at Kaasons Senior Secondary School in Entebbe in 2013. And Senior Six at Good Counsel Senior Secondary School in Gayaza.
•In 2018, he enrolled for a diploma in information technology, an online course offered by Amity University, India in coalition with Makerere University. He studied the diploma from July 2018 to December 2018.

What others say
Sharon Rachel Nabbosa, 22, content creator, “My role involves going to different primary schools to request for past examinations paper. The questions give me an idea of what is set in primary schools. We set our own questions as a team with the guidance of these past papers.”

Loerich Nasaba, 20, Totoquiz social media marketer, “My work involves promoting the application on different social media platforms. I create pages, handles, and push content out daily so that the masses know more about the app.”

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