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By Mulengera Reporter

Telecommunication giant MTN Uganda has zero-rated 18 educational websites to help pupils and students learn from home during the lockdown declared by President Yoweri Museveni to prevent further spread of the deadly Covid19 disease.

Learners have been home since Museveni ordered education institutions closed for a month starting March 20, a day before Uganda confirmed her first Coronavirus case.

Realising that the shutting of schools has left parents wondering how to keep their children engaged, MTN Uganda has now offered free access to websites as a way of helping learners study from home.

“By offering free access to select educational websites to enable parents to home school their children, MTN believes that Ugandans will be able to stay safe at home and learn while at it,” said the telecom in a statement.

The company, known for embracing and promoting vital technological innovations, also hopes to encourage more Ugandans to consider online learning options even after the defeat of the pandemic.

Already, parents and learners who have used the learning websites have termed MTN’s generosity helpful. According to Richard Musoke, a father of three school-going children, the offer is “most likely one of the best steps taken by any company in the battle to fight coronavirus” because “it’s sincere and useful for concerned parents with school-going children.”

Although he couldn’t believe the offer was real when a friend first recommended the sites to him, Musoke is now happy because his children are actively engaged on the sites. By slashing data costs for these vital sites to zero, he adds, MTN has helped him save money to foot other domestic bills.

“When a colleague forwarded me that banner with free educational sites on MTN’s website, I thought it was a joke but I tried it out and here we are!” says Musoke. “MTN’s waiver on data of some of these interesting kids’ educational websites really helps me a lot to keep my kids engaged, happy yet up to date on their school curriculum without me having to worry about my wallet.”

His children say they have found the sites interesting because of the audiovisual packaging of the lessons.

Dr Simon Epetait, another parent, says the MTN deal has opened his eyes to the wonders of online learning.

“Ordinarily, I would have sent them [my children] for coaching. I had never considered these online resources. But I am glad that I have now gotten to learn a new way of doing things. These are resources I will continue using even after this period. My advice to parents is to get hold of these resources when they are still zero-rated,” says Epetait, who resides in Luzira. “I also call on other organizations to help make this kind of education more affordable.”


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