05 May 2020

iCOLLEGE launches data-free learning app to assist students during lockdown

Submitted by Shannon Henning

iCOLLEGE, a private higher educational institution for underprivileged South African students who cannot afford to study, provides approximately 50,000 students with a fully paid education. iCOLLEGE offers students a variety of fully paid SETA accredited courses and upskilling programmes such as Marketing, IT, Human Resources, Business Administration, etc.

In an initiative to keep its higher education students studying during the national lockdown, iCOLLEGE has made dataless online studying a reality.

To ensure that no student falls behind during the Covid19 lockdown, the college has created an app to allow learners to continue accessing facilitation of their courses from the comfort of their homes, without compromising the quality of education. “We understand the value that education has on the lives of our students and the role educated citizens bear on our country’s future. As an organisation, we decided collectively that no student should suffer or put their education on hold because of circumstances that are beyond the control of our nation. Lockdown is not a holiday, but an opportunity for our students to continue to learn. The Job Skilling App will assist all our learners to continue their studies during these uncertain times,” says Lizel Booysen, Marketing and Sales Director of iCOLLEGE.

Booysen adds that the app covers all the courses that iCOLLEGE offers and has compulsory job skilling tasks which students need to complete as well.  The education institution is aware that not all students have access to data, hence the app was designed in such a manner that it is zero rated for all Cell C users. This means that after the app is downloaded and installed by Cell C users, no data is required to use it. Students were provided with a Cell C sim card during their induction sessions to enable them to use this app for free. Normal data charges apply for students who do not want to change their service providers to Cell C. “Rather than simply sending our students reading material, the app is personalised with pre-recorded lectures from our Facilitators, so it’s like being in the classroom. Students are still required to complete compulsory tasks set out for them as it forms a vital part of their studies,” explains Booysen.

She says as the country and globe continue to face the pandemic created by Covid19, education institutions need to find a new way of getting around the problem. For iCOLLEGE that solution came with embracing technology and understanding our specific economic climate for data-free studies. The institution urges all students to make use of the app and to actively participate as it is part of the curriculum.  “We urge parents, grandparents or guardians of students who study at iCOLLEGE, to please help us to motivate students to go onto the app each day and to complete the daily requirements,” continues Booysen.

To qualify to study at iCOLLEGE, students must be South African citizens, between the ages of 18 and 27, unemployed, not be claiming UIF, and must have a minimum grade 10 qualification. iCOLLEGE has multiple intakes throughout the year and students can still enrol now by going online to www.icollegeint.co.za.  The educational institution has 17 campuses across 7 provinces. To study at the college, students only pay a once-off registration fee of R700 if their application is accepted.

“We’ve always been big on innovation. When we realised that lockdown would bring about potential challenges as to how we currently educate and teach our students, we worked around the clock to create a solution. We understand and support the need for the lockdown, which is why we created the app to mitigate the downtime students would experience and to continue educating them from the safety of their own homes. Our iCOLLEGE data-free app is the perfect solution for the lockdown challenge,” concludes Booysen.

Published in Science and Education

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