In the news - Naimish Gohil

11th June 2010 at 01:00

Who's this then?

Naimish Gohil is a 28-year-old IT director at Henry Compton School, south-west London. At Easter, he launched a website to help pupils, staff and parents engage with homework. Now some 60 schools are using, including some in Mexico, the United States, Indonesia and the Czech Republic.

So is this homework 2.0?

"The idea is that teachers don't always have time to set homework, or pupils don't write it down, or what they write they can't read," Mr Gohil explains. "I asked what they thought about homework being available on the school web page and they liked it. There are so many languages in our school, I have built in Google Translate so parents can understand their child's homework. I thought a lot about Harry Enfield, when the dad asked Kevin the Teenager if he had any homework. He just groaned: 'No, Noo, Noooo!'"

Were you a bit of a Kevin growing up?

"I didn't work at school and left with no qualifications, so went to college to get my GCSEs. I had to work hard and sit exams while all my friends were off going out. After college, I got a couple of IT jobs but was made redundant, so I went to help my old college teacher with some techie stuff. I applied for a PGCE and never looked back."

What's the secret of your success?

"I tell the boys at school that anything is possible. You just have to find something you're good at and the money and success will follow. I've got a plan to be a head by the age of 32. I got married last year, so I want to have a family, too."

Married to your wife or your laptop?

"At heart I am a geek - I did computer science at Birmingham University. But I am now married to my wife. But my mum used to say I was married to my laptop."

Was setting up the website a slog?

"I worked on it for a year, day and night. I launched it in school. It was around the time of the volcano eruption, so I tweeted about it on Twitter. People soon realised how easy it was - you don't need staff training to use it. The idea is to keep it free and simple. There are now 200 teachers posting homework on there, and there have been 20,000 page views."

Anything else up your sleeve?

"I'm working on really cool things to improve the site, but don't want to spill the beans. There are so many Third World countries now trying to develop broadband that it would be brilliant to make it fully global. Watch this space."

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