This month, we spoke to Eyal Dessou Tzafrir, founder and CEO at Mathika.
Mathika is an EdTech startup developing a web-based and mobile educational application to teach Mathematics. Many schools in Israel are using Mathika and during the coronavirus pandemic, many children have started using the application from home. Mathika is one of the technologies selected for our Pears Program- IsraAID pilot fund, whose mission is introducing and testing promising Israeli technologies with the potential to make a positive impact in the humanitarian field. IsraAID is about to field-test Mathika in its education programs in refugee settings in Greece and Colombia.
What is Mathika's story? The roots of Mathika go back to Eyal's childhood. Eyal had difficulties with math and teachers immediately stigmatised him as 'stupid'. As Eyal got older he realized the toll that it took on him: he doubted his abilities, even his ability to go to university. Eyal teamed up with his child's math teacher Yiftach to develop innovative ways to help children struggling with math, just like Eyal. What challenge you are tackling through your work? Educate facilitators on a new approach to teach math. A real change needs to happen in conventional thinking about how students learn, how students can move forward on their own and at their own pace. What is special/unique about your approach? With Mathika, children from 5 to 13 years old can learn Math by themselves by using video clips, games, and tools. The main emphasis is the ability to learn math without written language, without teacher’s supervision and putting the realms of the learning in the learners' hands. As a result, it is teaching children to take responsibility for their learning and for their life. You are about to pilot your technology with IsraAID. What is your motivation to enter the humanitarian field? We would like to be the go-to tool for children who don't have access to regular education and be the platform that helps them feel fully part of society all over the world. By working with the Pears Program and IsraAID, we are learning about this field, about what we need to take into account in those specific settings, so that we will be able to deploy the platform in other countries. In addition, through our pilot, we will be able to get evidence on impact.
Thank you Eyal for this inspiring story. We wish you good luck in accomplishing your mission.