By Mariah Nanah
National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC), the government body responsible for the development of education for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Uganda has lauded MTN Uganda for its initiative to encourage learning from home by zero rating learning institution websites.
The curriculum ICT specialist at National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC) Gilbert Gift Siima said the initiative enables students to access learning materials while studying from home as schools remain closed.
He also said it was more helpful for candidate students in the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) and the O’level Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) who recently received their results.
In March last year, MTN partnered with NCDC and allowed free access to 17 learning sites to ensure students study from home. The move has enabled home schooling for the children by their parents.
The learning institutions include; Makerere University, Makerere University Business School,Uganda Christian University, Uganda Martyrs University, among others.
A teacher and mother of two candidates from St Francis Education Center, Namubiru Agnes in Namawojjolo says her children benefited from reading materials on the zero rated websites.
“When they sent the children back home, they told us to access materials online and that is what I did. With the help of my sister who accessed the websites, I was able to homeschool my children. It helped us a lot to keep the children focused on education,” She said.
The sites have continuously recorded increased traffic signaling to the increased usage amongst the learners, according to Siima.
Enid Edroma the MTN Uganda General Manager Corporate Services and Legal, said the telecom is glad to have partnered with NCDC to support the people of Uganda.
“MTN is dedicated to continuously supporting the people of Uganda. We understand the vitality of education especially to the youngsters in the country, and as such thought it necessary to ensure that they remain focused and studying at no cost to the parents whose incomes have also been affected by the pandemic,” Enid Edroma noted.
Gilbert Gift Siima lauded MTN for its efforts in enabling continuity of the education sector which has been affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the learning sites which can be accessed from https://www.mtn.co.ug/learnathome/ include; http://www.classroommagazines.scholastic.com/, http://www.allinonehomeschool.com/, http://www.abcya.com/, http://www.splashlearn.com/ among others.