uLesson, an Abuja-based ed-tech startup has discontinued DevKids, its live virtual coding class for kids.
Last Wednesday, November 17, an internal memo sent to DevKids’ tutors made available to Benjamindada.com stated "as most of you know, we are pulling the plug on DevKids … Classes will still go on until our last client is done [October 2022] … If there are any changes, I will inform you via email".
In the meantime, the sign-up feature on the website has been deactivated. And when a guardian enquired why they can’t sign-up their ward for the programme, a representative of DevKids, Chidubem, replied via email that new subscriptions have been put on hold.
"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience experienced. Kindly note, we are currently undergoing a bit of restructuring with our product and there is a current pause on new subscriptions. This is all geared towards ensuring a better experience for our Learners. We will inform you once we are back on track for new subscriptions and your preferred time can be rescheduled", the email reads.
"Devkids may or may not come back".
The internal memo did not state why uLesson has decided to shut down the programme. A source familiar with the matter said, "the cost of acquiring clients and customers were very high compared to the returns and revenue. Although, from the mail he sent [referring to an internal memo], Devkids may or may not come back", adding that "the whole news caught everyone [on the DevKids team] off guard".
Sim Shagaya announced the launch of DevKids on Twitter on May 26, 2021. He tweeted: "At age 10, an uncle of mine - Patrick Umekwe - changed my life when he gifted me an MSX computer. I was enraptured and spent the following years learning how to program in BASIC and nursing a love for tech that lasts till to today. These early years are critical to a child and I was lucky".
Since its launch, DevKids has garnered users (people between ages four and eighteen) from over 13 different countries across 5 continents learning under the guidance of about 45 tutors. As of press time, DevKids is yet to respond to my request for comment regarding the issue.
Whether this is the death knell of DevKids or a moratorium to restructure the product remain to be seen. We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.
Featured Image: DevKid's website