PEOPLE | Naibuka and Telu’s labour of love

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Naibuka and Telu Qarau, the founders of the Gumatua app. Picture SUPPLIED

IT’S not every day when one gets to hear parents creating a new digital application for their children.
But believe it or not, this is exactly what husband and wife, Naibuka and Telu Qarau did.
The mum and dad team are the founders of Suva-based experience design firm, House of Kings (HoK), the creators of the Gumatua application Naibuka oversees the web design and development aspects of the Gumatua App, while Telu takes on the role of counsellor and manager of the overall operation at
Naibuka hails from Nauluvatu, Nakelo in Tailevu with maternal links to Viwa, Bau also in Tailevu.
He attended Queen Victoria School, Laucala Bay Secondary School, and Latter-Day Saints.
On the other hand, Telu is from Muana-i-cake, Fulaga in Lau, with maternal links to Ravitaki, Kadavu.
She attended Adi Cakobau School, St John’s College Cawaci and Methodist Ladies College in Melbourne Australia.
Creating the app was a labour of love they started 16 years ago.
“This app represents the realisation of a visionary journey that began in 2006, spanning 16 years, aimed at providing educational resources to help students across the nation study, foster a love for learning, and excel in their exams.
“Subsequently, we extended it to her peers in Year eight at St Marcellin Primary School before making it available to the wider public.
“Ensuring accessibility was a key priority for us, this is reflected in the affordable subscription fee which we’ve implemented.”
The app’s content is a blend of previous year’s papers generously shared by teacher friends from their
professional networks and personal collections, as well as other resources found through research.”
“Our initial testing team consisted of our children, who served as our primary testers.
“The feedback they offered was priceless and has significantly influenced the app’s overall user experience.”
The app was successfully launched in July at St Marcellin Primary School in Vatuwaqa.
The couple decided to forgo a major marketing campaign, choosing instead to let the app naturally expand during its discovery phase.
So far, there are about 35 subscribers currently using the app with a monthly subscription of $8.
“In this digital era, it is crucial for us to adapt to the current technological landscape,” Naibuka said.
“Staying up to date with the times is essential, otherwise, we risk being left behind.
Naibuka said children of today were frequently engaged with phones, tablets, and computers whether for games, creating content on platforms like Tiktok or browsing the internet.
He said the primary role of the application was to make the learning experience enjoyable and allow children to realise their full potential in any endeavor they chose, provided they were willing to put in the effort.
“With the Gumatua app, we aimed to ensure that putting in the effort wouldn’t feel like a burdensome task, and this is encapsulated in our brand promise — the fun way to study.
“Our aspiration is that Gumatua becomes their preferred choice for studying and exam preparation.
“By working together with parents, guardians and teachers, we aim to shape brighter futures for our children.”
According to Naibuka, they had worked on smaller pet projects before, but this was their first time reaching this extent.
“Putting in the long hours, an abundant supply of coffee, continuous testing, and feedback from our children has truly made this experience all the more worthwhile,” Naibuka said.
“Exciting developments lie ahead, and we hope the children of our beloved nation will journey with us as we create history together.”