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Could Chuolink Revolutionize Education, Career Planning in Tanzania & Beyond?

© Photo University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)The 53rd graduation ceremony of the first cluster of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) takes place on May 19, 2023 at the Mlimani City Conference Hall in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The 53rd graduation ceremony of the first cluster of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) takes place on May 19, 2023 at the Mlimani City Conference Hall in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 30.11.2023
Chuolink is an online platform that provides various services to help students in Tanzania make informed decisions about their academic and career paths. Chuolink's founders say that their platform is the first of its kind in Tanzania and aims to empower students with information and opportunities to achieve their goals.
A group of three second-year students at the University of Dar es Salaam's Information and Communications Technology College, namely Abdulrahim Malya, Raymond Mao and Adolph Tabaro, recently developed a website and mobile application called Chuolink. This platform provides educational and career planning services to students in Tanzania.
Sputnik Africa had the opportunity to interview Chuolink co-founder Abdulrahim Malya to gain insights into his vision, challenges and future plans.

Origin of Chuolink

Malya said that the idea of Chuolink stemmed from his personal experience when preparing to join the university in 2022. Facing a lot of confusion and pressure from his parents regarding career choices, he lacked guidance during that time.
Recognizing this common issue among Tanzanian students, who lacked access to reliable and comprehensive information about courses, universities, scholarships, and career opportunities, and noticing that the current university application process in Tanzania was cumbersome and prone to errors, he collaborated with friends to create a platform that would address all these gaps and provide a one-stop solution for students.

"So we said, why don't we provide these? We saw a gap in the market, and we decided to bring out the appropriate solution. So this is how basically the idea of Chuolink came up," Malya told Sputnik Africa.

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What Services Chuolink Provide?

Malya explained that Chuolink offers a range of services to meet the needs of students at different stages of their educational journey.
These include: updates on scholarships, loans, and certifications; advice on course and university selection; assistance in applying to universities in Tanzania and abroad; exposure to professionals in various fields; and personalized career counseling.
Malya told Sputnik Africa that one of the main benefits of Chuolink is helping students to make informed decisions based on their strengths, interests, and goals. By providing comprehensive information and recommendations, Chuolink helps students to avoid making choices that they might regret later or that might limit their opportunities.
"We also simplify the current university application here in Tanzania, where it requires student to fill out multiple forms for the same application. So we provide an all-in-one platform, hence saving time, reducing prone to errors and simplifying the entire application process," Malya shared.
Another key feature of Chuolink is that it connects students with industry experts to offer them valuable insights, advice, and mentorship. By exposing students to professionals from different fields, Chuolink offers a realistic and practical view of the job market and the skills and qualifications that are in demand.
"So number one, they make the right choice. Number two, they start making long-lasting connections to the point where they are getting into the job market, they are doing what they love, hence it is easy for them to figure a way out, but also they already know what the job market needs," he said.

Future of Chuolink

Malya said that Chuolink has received a lot of positive feedback and attention from its users and partners. He said that within the first two weeks of its launch, Chuolink gained over a thousand users and assisted more than 30 students in obtaining scholarships to study in India.
Currently collaborating with over 15 universities in India, Chuolink aims to expand its reach to over 300 universities worldwide, including universities in Russia and the United States.
Malya also revealed that Chuolink is planning to add more services and features to its platform in the future. One of the most exciting features that they are working on is the integration of artificial intelligence for psychometric career tests.

"The new feature we want to use is an artificial intelligence powerful recommendation engine, which can recommend students their courses and field which match their strengths and weaknesses," Malya said. "This is the groundbreaking feature which we are looking forward to introducing in the future."

The student added that Chuolink is planning to enhance its AI technology, such as the chatbot, which is a 24-hour virtual assistant that answers questions about courses. He said that they are planning to integrate machine learning and other recommendation algorithms that will illustrate the right courses and career paths according to the students’ preferences and goals.
Malya noted that, according to UNESCO, 80% of university students who enroll in Africa each year don't have access to career guidance or counseling.

"So you can see on a large spectrum how big this problem is. Actually we have started here in Tanzania, but we are looking forward to expand to other countries. And who knows, we could even expand worldwide," he hopes.

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Valuable Advice

Malya advised young African individuals seeking jobs or navigating the uncertainties of the job market to prioritize networking.
Attending events, maintaining a strong LinkedIn profile, and forming connections with industry experts contribute to increased visibility and credibility in the job market.
"Also, what I would advise them is that before even they get into any career, they have to make sure that they love what they do. Because at the point where you love what you do, it is going to be easy for you to figure out what to do with the knowledge that you have obtained, making employing yourself extremely easy."
Abdulrahim Malya
Co-founder of Chuolink, an online education and career planning platform in Tanzania