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English Course Designer

Skoll World Forum

Skoll World Forum

Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2024

About Onja

Onja is a social enterprise training underprivileged youth into world-class software developers.

We find the brightest students in Madagascar who can’t afford to continue their education, and train them in English language and software development. After just two-and-a-half years they are ready to work as remote front-end software developers in international tech teams.

Once in a job, our developers earn a good salary that helps them support their families and pay forward the opportunity to a new wave of students. They unlock exciting careers that fulfil their potential, and accelerate the development of their nation (see ‘How Onja Works’ below).

Our first cohort, ‘Wave 1’, consists of nineteen talented and committed graduates who are now working remotely for our partner companies in Europe and the US. With this immensely successful first cohort, and a proven social model, our goal is now to scale our impact: we aim to take on 360 new students over the next four years.

About the Role

In 2019, we developed and delivered a full-time course that allowed twenty students to progress from absolute beginners to upper intermediate speakers (B2 level) in just one year, with some students even reaching an advanced (C1) level. Our first cohort contained 19 developers and we plan to train hundreds of students in the coming years. Our challenge now is to scale our organisation, bringing opportunities to hundreds, moving to thousands of students. Your mission as our English Course Designer is to rebuild this course, from the ground up, into a highly scalable online-style programme.

Your responsibilities include:

  • Creating engaging video lectures, learning activities and course content to build on an existing course.
  • Create supporting material/media (audio, video, simulations, role plays, games etc)
  • Collaborate with existing Onja teachers, incorporating their specific experience into your course design.
  • Applying tested instructional design theories, practice and methods
  • Decide on the criteria used to assess learners’ performance and develop assessment instruments.
  • Maintain project documentation and course folders.

This is a pivotal role for Onja at this exciting time. We are poised to grow fast and our dream is to train thousands of new students each year. You will be setting the foundations not just for this first cohort but the waves of youth that will follow in future years.


  • A twelve-month commitment is preferred.
  • Instructional design experience as well as teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) experience is preferred however a willingness to learn and grow in the role is most important to us.

What you can expect

  • You’ll join our tight-knit, committed team in Toamasina, Madagascar.
  • We know it’s a big move so we will look after you and make sure you are secure and settled.
  • We’ll provide secure, comfortable, beachfront accommodation and food.
  • We are able to offer a good local salary – enough to live comfortably and have plenty left over for holidays travels.
  • Unlimited annual leave. We recommend between 30 and 35 days as a guide to give you time to explore the wonders of Madagascar
  • We also offer 25% remote work, for when you are keen to get some city vibes in Madagascar.
  • We’ll provide optional weekly Malagasy lessons to bring you up to speed with the language.
  • Your visa will be sponsored.
  • Sponsored flights.

Start date

We are ready for you now, but generally allow for two months from the time the contract is signed.

How Onja Works

Onja is a social enterprise with a sustainable model:

  1. Search for brilliant minds who would otherwise be limited to low-paid, unfulfilling careers.
  2. Students receive two years of English and software development instruction. Meet a developer here: https://onja.org/blog
  3. Graduates earn (and continue learning) at our outsourcing enterprise.
  4. All profits are used to train the next wave of students and the cycle begins again.