First-of-its-kind audio e-learning platform to offer unlimited access based on the national mobile phone penetration, low-data, and basic feature phone requirements has been launched following the partnership of Data Sciences Nigeria and MasterCard Foundation.
The ‘Learn at Home’ project is designed to help children continue remote learning based on their access to technology. 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. It will provide free, online, and unlimited learning access to more than 100 million Nigerian youths. 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.
“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 dialing 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.”
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. Mr. 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.”