On Thursday, the Department of Basic Education partnered with MTN to launch a free online portal that provides a digital curriculum for Grades R to 12. The portal includes the curriculum, video lessons, extra tuition lessons, and assessments.
The online portal was introduced to close the education gap among learners in South Africa. Through the initiative, learners will be able to access curriculum-aligned educational content, as endorsed and provided by the DBE for Grades R to 12 and learners with special education needs.
Angie Motshekga, the Basic Education Minister, delivered the keynote address at the launch. Motshekga stated that the government’s vision for the schooling sector is anchored in the National Development Plan.
The plan recognises that “education is the cornerstone upon which a nation that provides opportunities for social mobility, equity, social justice and democracy will depend”.
The Basic Education Minister describes the MTN Online School as “agile, innovative and modern”. Motshekga believes that the online portal will take basic education to the next level.
“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,” Motshekga said.
Godfrey Motsa, MTN SA CEO, announced that digital transformation takes place within a big ICT ecosystem and for that ecosystem to flourish, the youth need to have access to quality teaching and learning, which is important if they are to play their role in changing the world.
“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,” stated Motsa.
They aim to help the young people in South Africa access educational fundamentals to tackle the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in a way that allows them to access future opportunities.
Motsa stated that the launch is a product of good partnerships and proves how “we can do more” by working together.
“We believe in the future of South Africa 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.”
“This initiative is in line with MTN Group’s overarching Ambition 2025 strategy to become Africa’s leading provider of digital solutions by contributing towards society through ICT, advancing digital education, skills and jobs,” said MTN SA CEO.
Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN SA’s Executive for Corporate Affairs, said that they are excited to welcome their new e-learning portal to the young people in the country.
“We intend to ensure it is underpinned by continuous innovation to stay at the forefront of world-class education. It also exemplifies our ambition to accelerate digital transformation through building exciting, innovative and solution-oriented platform businesses in South Africa.”
According to O’Sullivan, the online portal aims to use the power of the digital world to supplement and support the physical classroom.
The MTN Online School aims to focus on areas such as entrepreneurship, financial skills, arts and culture, and careers guidance content.
The video lessons provided on the portal will include a sign language interpreter to accommodate deaf learners.
An introduction to the Early Childhood Development curriculum and African storytelling is included on the portal. African storytelling aims to equip children with reading skills and improve their confidence in their reading abilities.