Data Science Nigeria and Malezi, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, have created a platform for underprivileged children to access quality education through multi-channel platforms for the next one year.
The deal was built on the back of the school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which elevated the application of technology in education delivery.
The ‘Learn at Home’ project is designed to help children continue remote learning based on theier access to technology. The initiative allows learning through radio, mobile and web.
Country Head, Nigeria Mastercard Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson, said the initiative funded by the Foundation’s COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme would help address inequality in access to education.
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“This pandemic continues to upend basic assumptions about where, when, and how we learn and work. Right now, the priority, in terms of education, is ensuring that children learn—no matter where they are or whether they have access to the internet. Ensuring universal learning continuity is critical if we are going to mitigate not just losses in learning, but the overall inequality being perpetuated by this crisis,”said Lawanson.
For offline learning, Executive Director of Data Science Nigeria, Toyin Adekanmbi, said the non-profit organisation of data scientist had created content tailored to the Nigerian syllabus that is being broadcast by 18 radio stations nationwide and can also be accessed on any mobile phone by simply dialling a USSD code.
Adekanbi said of the project: “Our approach to tackling education for disadvantaged kids rests on our understanding of the obstacles and we have worked to overcome them head on. Learn from Home requires no internet connection to access, the curriculum is localised per locations across Nigeria and based on the NERDC curriculum, the highest quality standard of teachers have been engaged for content delivery and each student will have a unique school registration number that allows student-teacher engagement and regular opportunity to test learning using simple mobile telephony services like USSD and SMS.”
Malezi on the other hand, which provides large-scale education content online in Africa, provide video lessons accessible online on the learn Nigeria website.
In addition to video lessons, the learners also get access to e-notes, quizzes as well as teacher support through live tutorials and question and answer options.
The organisation also plans to offer downloadable learning material for students with unreliable internet connection.
Speaking on the project, Mrs Alade, a parent of two children who are potential beneficiaries of the program said: “This is a well-needed help for our parents. We need our children who have not been in school for a long time to catch up on all they have missed. Thank you for this.”