Data Science Nigeria, MasterCard Foundation expand e-learning access to 100m Nigerians
Data Science Nigeria (DSN) in partnership with MasterCard Foundation has launched a new e-learning platform as part of the effort to provide unlimited access to learning for more than 100 million young Nigerians.
The new ‘Learn at Home’ audio e-learning platform will ensure universal learning and improve learning outcomes across all communities in Nigeria.
This first-of-its-kind audio e-learning platform will offer unlimited access based on the national mobile phone penetration, low-data and basic feature phone requirements.
“The disruption of the pandemic did not only halt learning for many but also revealed and exacerbated existing inequalities in learning opportunities. The purpose of www.learn at home.radio is to ensure children have equal, convenient, and affordable access to quality learning,” said, Chidinma Lawanson, country head, MasterCard Foundation Nigeria.
Findings show that already, more than 4 million students have joined audio classes with USSD/SMS support, where they receive educational materials on key subjects, based on the Nigerian Educational Research and Development (NERDC) curriculum for primary and secondary school students.
Toyin Adekanmbi, executive director, Data Science Nigeria described the platform as a creative and innovative approach to democratise learning in Nigeria and provide an effective solution.
“The Learn at Home audio e-learning initiative will build on the clear successes recorded in the quest to ensure ongoing learning for children during the pandemic restrictions, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged, through our audio classes in several cities in Nigeria. It is specifically designed for smooth functionality on basic feature phones operating on the EDGE or 2G network and low data,” she said.
Learn at Home is based on an inclusive e-learning approach. It is designed to eliminate the barriers of internet access (data) cost and over-dependency on expensive smartphones in the delivery of locally relevant, convenient, and inexpensive access to quality education.
On the platform, pupils and students from primary 1 to Senior Secondary (SS3) will gain access to a special examination readiness series that includes a collection of solved past questions in WAEC, NECO, BECE, and Common Entrance from 2009 to 2020.
Expert teachers have been engaged to provide answers and explanations to the past questions in a step-by-step and easy-to-understand format, with complementary live classes that enable each student to learn at a preferred pace irrespective of location and socioeconomic conditions.
Besides the examination preparation series, www.learnathome.radio features a wide variety of content, including amazing global facts, inspirational quotes, current affairs, common errors in the English language, and much more.
Nwachukwu, one of the parents, already taking advantage of the platform, praised it as a breakthrough innovation.
“Before, platforms like this one, were usually only for those who could afford expensive laptops or smartphones and daily internet subscriptions. Now, every child, everywhere can learn,” Nwachukwu said.
For MTN users, it is absolutely free. With this, children in rural and remote communities can learn from the highest quality teachers at their own pace and prepare for important examinations with the best resources and educational aids developed based on the approved curriculum.