Telecommunications group MTN has launched its MTN Online School, a free online portal that will offer a digital curriculum for school children from grades R-12.
The online school, which the Department of Basic Education has endorsed, offers additional features like video lessons, assessments and extra-tuition lessons for Grade 10 to 12 learners.
The school will also focus on areas such as financial skills, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and career guidance content, focusing on critical careers where there are skills shortages in South Africa.
Among the key innovations are video lessons that will be provided with a sign language interpreter to accommodate deaf learners.
The portal includes an introduction to the early childhood development curriculum and African storytelling, with over 2,000 stories, to equip children with good reading skills and improve confidence, enabling them to learn and read independently.
“It’s imperative to eliminate digital divide by ensuring that all schools & education offices have access to internet and data within 6 years. During this period, all learners must access digital workbooks & textbooks on a digital device,” Motshekga at launch of MTN Online School pic.twitter.com/TQfngaNpB0
— Dep. Basic Education (@DBE_SA) October 21, 2021
The launch of the online school took place in Sandton on Thursday and was attended by the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa.
“It’s imperative to eliminate digital divide by ensuring that all schools & education offices have access to internet and data within 6 years. During this period, all learners must access digital workbooks & textbooks on a digital device,” said Motshekga at launch of MTN Online School.
“Our vision for the schooling sector is anchored in the National Development Plan which recognises that education is the cornerstone upon which a nation that provides opportunities for social mobility, equity, social justice and democracy will depend. The MTN Online School is a fit for purpose digital tool to take our basic education to the next level. The online portal is agile, innovative and modern.”
“Together with the innovation and commitment to societal change by MTN, today’s launch of the MTN Online School is a significant leap forward for education and ushers in positive change for communities across South Africa.”
The integrated online educational portal is supported and housed on the MTN network and is zero data rated for MTN customers, which means it can be used without any data.
“Digital transformation takes place within a huge ICT ecosystem and for that ecosystem to flourish we need young people to be able to access quality teaching and learning essential to play their part in changing the world. The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the urgent need In South Africa for accessible and approved online curricula and we are delighted to deliver the MTN Online School, to do just that.”
“Our aim is to enable the youth to access educational fundamentals to tackle the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in a manner that allows them to access future opportunities. Today’s launch is a product of great partnerships and shows how together, we can do more, be more and achieve more,” says MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa.
“We believe in the future of SA and the education of the future generation, which needs to accelerate its recovery from the economic and personal devastation of COVID-19 to embrace future opportunities made available through quality education and learning. The MTN Online School has been developed hand-in-glove with the Department of Basic Education and we are so proud to deliver this portal that will immediately start creating value, for South Africans.”
Among the key innovations, video lessons will be provided with a sign language interpreter to accommodate deaf learners. The portal includes an introduction to the early childhood development curriculum and African storytelling, with over 2000 stories, to equip children with good reading skills and improve confidence, enabling them to learn and read independently.
Additional features for FET Phase (Grade 10 -12) include:
Support to learners after-school, on weekends, during school holidays and dedicated lessons leading up to exams A timetable to drive transparency and structure Learners can work at their own pace as lessons will be available on-demand Online tutoring service will be provided to learners via a help function interface Pre-assessments (test existing knowledge) Pre-recorded lessons to watch Tutoring sessions Feedback questions to work through Live sessions presented by a teacher, recap of key concepts, focus on weak areas identified by assessments Post assessments Learner analysis reports Learners can also request help at any time, or submit questions via the platform or WhatsApp chat line.