African storytelling, arts, on-demand lessons - here’s what MTN’s online school platform offers

Business Insider SA
MTN Online School Logo (Supplied)
MTN Online School Logo (Supplied)

  • MTN recently launched an online schooling platform aimed at addressing the 21st century learning needs of South African learners. 
  • The online platform was launched in partnership with the Department of Basic Education and offers financial skills, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and career guidance content, and more.  
  • The e-learning portal allows MTN customers to use it without any data. 
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MTN, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education recently launched an integrated online school platform aimed at providing a comprehensive digital curriculum and other additional educational features for learners.

MTN Online School which was developed in partnership with DBE and the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), is a free online portal aimed at making accessible digital educational content for learners in grades R to 12. This includes learners with special education needs.   

“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,” said Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.

The solution also aims to address the current learning needs of South African children and closing the concerning gap in access to quality education among youngsters.  

Bokgone Technical School Nov 2020 (Supplied)
Bokgone Technical School Nov 2020 (Supplied)

“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,” said MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa.

The e-learning portal housed on the MTN network allows MTN customers to use it without any data.

It also forms part of the group’s over-arching “Ambition 2025” strategy of becoming the leading provider of digital solutions on the continent by contributing towards society through ICT advancing digital education, skills, and jobs.

Over the next three years, the full content library will be added to the platform, focusing on key subjects.

Here’s what it offers:  

The online platform offers financial skills, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and career guidance content, focusing mostly on key careers where there are skills shortages in South Africa.  

For young kids there is an introduction to the early childhood development curriculum and African storytelling, with over 2,000 stories to help with good reading skills to improve confidence, thereby encouraging independent reading and learning.   

MTN Online School also provides video lessons with a sign language interpreter for deaf learners, assessments, and extra-tuition lessons for Grade 10 to 12 learners.

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

“Covid-19 wreaked havoc for school children everywhere, but access to digital tools and solutions proved critical in ensuring children could stay in touch and up to date.

“Building on the success of our partnership with Siyavula in 2020, this new platform aims to give the power of online tools to support teachers in adding value to their lessons, in teaching digital skills and reaching those learners who need additional support,” said the group.

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