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Classmate brigdes education gap

Botswana aspires to become a high-income earning knowledge based digital economy by 2036.

To embrace the fourth industrial revolution and create long term innovative solutions during and post COVID-19, individuals and organisations alike resorted to technology to run their daily lives.

As a way of bridging the digital divide within the education system in Botswana, two innovators by the names of Mr Thuso Othusitse and Mr Joshua Oodira came up with a solution to use education technology to eliminate challenges causing poor academic performance by inventing an e-learning application platform dubbed Classmate Online.

Classmate Online managing director, Mr Othusitse said, ‘classmate is an inclusive, social e-learning platform that was established in 2017 to promote collaborative learning in a centralised manner between students, educators and other stakeholders through the provision of educational content to build the performance of students across Botswana in a virtual manner,” he said.

Mr Othusitse described Classmate as a virtual classroom breaking boundaries in the country’s education sector

It reached and connected students in urban, peri-urban and rural areas thus bridging the digital divide.

“Over and above the long term persistent and systematic challenges, Classmate was created to solve the recent outbreak of the coronavirus that disrupted the education system and accelerated the need for the e-learning infrastructure and services the platform provides,” he explained.

Having partnered with Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) to provide Classmate Online consumers with easier access to internet connectivity and subsidised data bundles which will be specific for education only, Mr Othusitse explained that the application provided content in all subject syllabuses, past examination papers, educational quizzes, e-library books and video tutorials.

Mr Othusitse highlighted that although it was too early to judge the extent of the impact COVID-19 on the education system, there were signs suggesting that it could have a lasting impact in the trajectory of learning offset by an increased demand for innovation and the digitalization of learning hence the need for Classmate Online. BOPA

Source : BOPA

Author : Taboka Ngwako

Location : GABORONE

Event : INTERVIEW

Date : Aug 11 Tue,2020