New On­line Learn­ing Plat­form for Rwanda

East African Business Week - - NEWS - By TRIPHOMUS MUYAGU

KI­GALI, RWANDAA Rwan­dan IT soft­ware com­pany is test­ing a new e-learn­ing plat­form with 50 se­lected schools and uni­ver­si­ties to en­able stu­dents study on­line with­out phys­i­cally step­ping in class.

The firm, Data Sys­tems Ltd. (DSL) says it has re­cently de­vel­oped the web-based plat­form to al­low thou­sands of stu­dents to study wher­ever they will be, pro­vided they have in­ter­net con­nec­tion. The project, known as es­huri, is a joint col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tigo Rwanda and the Rwanda De­vel­op­ment Board (RDB). It is ex­pected to as­sist teachers and stu­dents share aca­demic re­sources in a dig­i­tal for­mat. Na­dia Uwama­horo, the Com­pany’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, said the plat­form will also re­duce both stu­dents and teachers’ costs re- lated to the print­ing of pa­pers, and loss of doc­u­ments. “Dig­i­tal­iza­tion of con­tent will im­prove the de­liv­ery of in­struc­tions in teach­ing,” she said. The com­pany re­quires Frw. 200 mil­lion (about US$2.39M) to scale up the scheme, she said. So far Frw. 50m (about US$60,000) has been in­vested in the re­search, de­vel­op­ment of the ap­pli­ca­tion, and train­ing of con­tent de­vel­op­ers by for­eign ex­pert. “We are try­ing to raise the re­main­ing Rwf 150m from in­vestors, gov­ern­ment and de­vel­op­ment part­ners who are will­ing to help us,” Uwama­horo said. Stu­dents will have op­tions of ei­ther down­load­ing con­tent on to their lap­tops or com­put­ers or can ac­cess it on­line, she ex­plained. The com­pany is of­fer­ing a three-month trial to schools will­ing to use the plat­form. Un­der the ar­range­ment, DSL will pro­vide tech­ni­cal sup­port while Tigo will of­fer lap­tops and In­ter­net band­width.

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