Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, announced on Wednesday it has granted $1.5 million (R20 million) to the non-profit arm of Siyavula Education.

The organisation said the grant will be used by Siyavula Education to provide free access to its maths practice service for 150 000 South African students and a further 150 000 in Nigeria.

Siyavula is inviting South African learners to complete 1 million maths questions on its digital learning platform in the month of October.

For the #1MillionMaths Challenge, Siyavula will provide free access to its premium online maths practice service for all Grade 8-12 learners in the country.

Siyavula said that Grade 12 learners preparing for exams will be able to practice self-marking exam questions for Mathematics Paper 1 and Paper 2.

In addition to learning and preparing for exams, learners will receive various prizes and rewards from Siyavula such as data, mobile phones, and Google Play vouchers during October.

150 000 learners from low fee public schools who participate in this challenge will be eligible to receive a Google.org-sponsored scholarship that grants them access to Siyavula maths practice for all of 2018.

Siyavula Practice offers learners an unlimited number of maths and science exercises at a level that is tailored to their ability and gives immediate, step-by-step explanations for each question answered.

The software has been designed so that learners can practise as much as they like until they feel confident that they’ve really understood. Powerful technology adapts each practice session to the needs of the learner by changing the difficulty and sequencing of the questions they see.

Siyavula Practice can be used by anyone with a computer, tablet, or mobile phone (smart or not) if it has an internet connection.

It carries an annual subscription fee (R599 per year each for maths and science or R999 per year for both), but Siyavula works with funders to provide disadvantaged students with sponsored access. Partnerships with Vodacom and MTN allow learners to access the Siyavula website without being charged for data.

“Both Google and Siyavula harness technology to make information and education more accessible. We want to demonstrate how powerful this can be by providing learners with access to this tool during their preparation for exams,” Nick Cain, Google.org’s portfolio manager for education, said in a statement.

To join the #1MillionMaths challenge, prepare for exams and stand a chance to receive one of the 150 000 Google-sponsored subscriptions for 2018, learners can visit the Siyavula website at www.siyavula.com, register for a trial account and redeem the following access code: siyavula-one-million-maths.

This code will grant them premium access until the 15th of December and allow them to participate in the challenge. Prizes, leader boards and more information will be announced on the Siyavula Facebook page throughout the month of October.

“Siyavula is launching the #1MillionMaths Challenge to show the reach and scale that technology enables, as well as the incredible impact that practice can have when learning maths,” Mark Horner, CEO of Siyavula, said in a statement.

“We’ve designed our software to adapt to each learner’s level so they practise smarter, not just harder.”

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