Thousands of Grade 12 pupils in the Eastern Cape will now have an opportunity to catch up on their school curriculum by using online learning platforms.
Schools have been closed since the lockdown was imposed on 26 March and there is no indication yet when they will open.
To help solve the problem of missed lessons, MTN Business has provided the provincial Department of Basic Education with 72 000 SIM cards preloaded with data.
This move is part of MTN’s multi-pronged intervention that seeks to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities it operates in, particularly those that have the least resources to counter the pandemic.
In addition to the provision of the SIM cards, MTN Business said in a statement it has also contributed equipment including state-of-the-art cameras, and whiteboards valued at R27 million.
The equipment will support the 13 broadcasting studios that the provincial government is setting up.
These studios will be used to conduct virtual classes.
“The provision of these SIM cards and the ICT equipment is part of our ongoing efforts to offset the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak by ensuring that we harness the power of connectivity to facilitate access to education for millions of pupils who are unable to attend school because of the nationwide lockdown,” says Wanda Matandela, Chief Enterprise Officer at MTN Business.
“This is part of our contribution to the national efforts to use digital solutions to recover lost time and stay abreast of the school curriculum.”
MTN has in the past worked with other like-minded partners and the government in using the transformative power of technology to facilitate access to education.
Presently, MTN offers zero-rated access to a range of websites which include more than half of the 26 South African universities, education portals and Wikipedia.
“Our strategy on zero-rating of educational websites has seen MTN South Africa together with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Siyavula Foundation partner to sure that Grade’s 10, 11 and 12 learners stay on top of their curriculum material,” says Matandela.
This can be accessed using the Siyavula website (www.siyavula.com) and via the Siyavula app (available in the Google Store).
“We acknowledge the efforts the MTN regional office and the provincial government has taken to ensure that our learners are not left behind during these difficult times” concludes Matandela.