The Mastercard Foundation and Data Science are aiming for a $100 million investment in an e-platform

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Mastercard Foundation Logo

The Mastercard Foundation and Data Science Nigeria have launched a new audio e-learning platform called Learn at Home, which will provide more than 100 million Nigerian youths with free, online, and limitless learning opportunities.

Centered on national cell phone penetration, low-data, and simple feature phone specifications, this first-of-its-kind audio e-learning platform will provide unrestricted access.

The platform is a continuation of Data Science Nigeria's popular "Learn at Home" project, which delivered learning to millions of Nigerian students during the COVID-19 disruptions, in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation. Learn at Home is based on an all-encompassing e-learning strategy.

It is intended to remove the costs of internet access (data) and the over-reliance on costly smartphones as barriers to providing locally appropriate, easy, and affordable access to quality education.

The Learn at Home audio e-learning project, www.learnathome.radio, is part of a larger effort in Nigeria to close the gap between urban and rural learning.

Mastercard Foundation says it is a continuation of efforts to ensure universal learning and improve learning outcomes across all communities in Nigeria. Already, more than 4 million students have joined audio classes with USSD/SMS support, where they receive educational materials on key subjects, based on the Nigerian Educational Research and Development (NERDC) curriculum for primary and secondary school students.

”The disruption of the pandemic did not only halt learning for many, but also revealed and exacerbated existing inequalities in learning opportunities. The purpose of www.learnathome.radio is to ensure children have equal, convenient, and affordable access to quality learning,” said, Chidinma Lawanson, Country Head, Mastercard Foundation Nigeria.

According to the Mastercard Foundation, this is a continuation of efforts to ensure universal learning and improve learning outcomes in all Nigerian communities. More than 4 million students have already enrolled in audio classes with USSD/SMS help, where they receive educational materials on key subjects based on the Nigerian Educational Research and Development (NERDC) primary and secondary school curriculum.

Pupils and students in grades 1 through 3 will have access to a special test readiness sequence on the website, which contains a list of solved past questions from WAEC, NECO, BECE, and Common Entrance exams from 2009 to 2020. Expert teachers have been hired to provide step-by-step answers and explanations to previous questions in an easy-to-understand format, along with live classes that enable each student to learn at their own speed, regardless of location or socioeconomic status.

Toyin Adekanmbi, the Executive Director of Data Science Nigeria, characterized the initiative as

“a creative and innovative approach to democratize learning in Nigeria and provide an effective solution to the challenge of unequal distribution of learning and education opportunities in rural and urban communities.”

She said:

“The Learn at Home audio e-learning initiative will build on the clear successes we recorded in the quest to ensure ongoing learning for children during the pandemic restrictions, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged, through our audio classes in several cities in Nigeria. It is specifically designed for smooth functionality on basic feature phones operating on the EDGE or 2G network and low data. For MTN users, it is absolutely free. With this, children in rural and remote communities can learn from the highest quality teachers at their own pace and prepare for important examinations with the best resources and educational aids developed based on the approved curriculum.”

Apart from the exam preparation series, www.learnathome.radio offers a diverse range of material, such as amazing global statistics, inspiring quotes, current events, popular English language errors, and much more.

One of the parents, Mr. Nwachukwu, who is already using the site, praised it as a game-changing advancement.

“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".