Zimbabwe Digital News
Funeral services provider Zororo Phumulani this week handed over a fully-equipped state-of-the-art computer lab to the Dikeledi Makapan Primary School in Makapanstad – North West.
The donation caps a momentous 10 months from (that) horrific morning in November 2018 on news of the brutal murder of Shelton Karuweruwe – stabbed 22 times in the school toilets – by a 17-year-old boy from Mankala Technical High School, a secondary school not far from Dikeledi.
The shocking incident received wide media coverage, leading to the funeral services provider covering the burial costs, and adopting the school in terms of Zororo Phumulani’s CSI.
This week Zororo Phumulani was trending with the North West event – with colourful images, music and dance, festivity.
Technology finally arrived in this dusty North West village, and on a spring day – the school was connected to the global village.
Marketing manager Robertta Mutimbiri told Zimbabwe Digital News that the company had outdone itself in terms of CSI, as all top management had attended the event, including North West education officials, the school and parents teachers association, police, community leaders, a dance group, and above all – the school children at Makapanstand.
“There are many ways that we have been giving back to the communities, and this is one of them. Many will remember the incident that brought about this gesture, but if you check our media profile you will realise that CSI is right at the top of our corporate responsibility,” Mutimbiri said.
“There is no doubt that we have connected this community to the first world. What we believe as a company is the power of education, things that can, and do change people’s lives – being education and sport,” Mutimbiri said.
Zimbabwe Digital News caught up with Godfrey Marange of MS Innovations, the brand behind the MySeeds programme who partnered with Zororo Phumulani in wiring up and connecting Dikeledi Makapan to the rest of the world.
This is what he said:
Is an incentive, rewards and communication mobile app for education owned by MS Innovations. MySeeds allows schools to send notices to parents, teachers and students for free – and they can send by specific selected grades or all.
MS Innovations is also rolling out a school management system where schools capture student and teacher records into a database, through to school activities such as attendance, academic results and it will produce progress reports as well as business intelligence dashboard through PowerBI for deeper performance analytics.
Teachers open up new ways of communication with students or parents. They don’t need to know their number. All the parents and students need to do is download the app. This saves the schools on printing letters or using bulk sms.
The key benefit is improving communication for schools. The incentive part allows schools to add their attendance and academic data to the app and students will earn points for performance – just like we do with a smart shopper card at Pick n Pay.
They can redeem these points for discounts from our partner Edgars and Jet.
More discounts are coming in products like airtime, data and movie tickets. Just like Discovery Vitality gives incentives for living a healthy lifestyle MySeeds is the first of its kind for education.
The purpose of MySeeds is to motivate students and teachers to perform better, but also communication, improved school management, and earning points.
Currently they can redeem from Edgars and Jet which helps them get cheaper stationery and uniform. MySeeds is free for each school they just need to register their school with us by going to our website and contacting us www.myseeds.net.
For now our business model is to offer it free. With future releases it will allow parents to buy school material cheaper.
Your technologies? What problems are you solving?
The Myseeds mobile app – which is up and running already – features artificial intelligence (AI) through a learning assistant Bot (2020 release). This will come on Google Playstore and soon on IOs as well. Mustard Seed is a cloud-based school management system.
The three things that we are solving include:
Motivation for learner performance through incentives for daily input tasks.
Providing easy free communication to parents and access to their child’s performance for increased and easier parent involvement.
Digital inclusivity through our innovations as our app is accessible to even less privileges schools whose students, teachers and parents access technology via mobile devices. Our innovations provide educational productivity for the school community.
The nature of your partnership with Zororo Phumulani? This is a funeral services provider, you are in education, so how do their technologies, and yours meet?
We are the technology partner to Zororo’s CSI initiative to sponsor technology solutions in schools. We met through business connections and relations.
What did you bring to Dikeledi Makapan?
We designed the ICT lab and configured the computers, including Office 365 as well connectivity and our apps for the school to use.
It’s great initiative that empowers schools with digital tools to start using computers on a regular basis.
It was an opportunity to implement our solution to a proper school, have them use it and improve their school use of educational technology. We also liked Zororo Phumulani’s vision of doing a committed CSI project that has lasting impact on the learning of students beyond just a material donation.
What will the school children be able to do with your innovations?
Get incentives for doing well in school such as attendance and improved academic performance will result in points which they can use to redeem for discounts at our partner shop or retailers.
School notices for their parents will be easier to keep and they will go directly to their parents making it easier for the parents to assist and support them.
What can the children NOT do? Are the programmes designed to speak to children on issues like social issues (teen pregnancies, drugs, dangers of peer pressure etc).
Our platform has communication features can be put in the pocket of any student with a mobile device and a lot of them from senior primary and high school have access to a mobile phone.
So, it’s an opportunity for schools to use it to send awareness messages on any issues of importance directly to students and parents. Its free for schools so they don’t have to worry about the cost.
Your rewards programmes, learnerships?
Incentives are earned for day to day tasks such as attendance and academic performance. This will result in learners suddenly improving their performance. They will be motivated to do this as they will earn shopping discounts.
How does My Seeds facilitate the training of teachers to use applications like Microsoft Office365?
We are an Education or SV partner of Microsoft.
We work closely with them and we do the configuration and integration of Microsoft Office 365 to our apps. This allows schools to use these productivity tools.
We then facilitate for Microsoft to assist with introductory training for Teachers and sometimes students.
What does the Microsoft programme bring to education, and to teachers in particular?
Microsoft Office 365 is a powerful cloud based platform for productivity and collaboration.
It empowers students with digital skills required when they leave school, and work in corporates. Using this in schools empowers the students to be more effective and collaborate in learning using powerful digital tools.
How are you rolling out education apps for other schools in SA (and on the continent) and are the apps more for primary, secondary or tertiary education?
We have a rollout agreement with Ekurhuleni North District. Currently we working with 20 focus schools there however our agreement allows us to rollout to all 266 schools in the district.
We plan to rollout to the rest in Jan 2020 after the success completion of these 20 focus schools although any school can start using our app its free and easy to install and start using.
If the school is not on our platform, they can contact us we add it and they can start using it. We have 2000 schools we have pre-registered.
MySeeds futuristic developments, changing lives and globalisation?
MySeeds intends to become the most widely used education platform. Our App is easy for schools to onboard for any school you can even do it through phone instruction and after that just encourage your Teachers, Parents and Students to download.
More is coming in regards to incentives for 2020 and they will be more shopping discounts.
This year you get free points for downloading and free discount vouchers from Myseeds.
Cool features like MyWallet where you can purchase stationery from the comfort of your home, use your discount points. Next year we will integrate AI (Artificial Intelligence with learning assistant bot to help students with learning tips, and we will integrate educational games.
We believe that you have a launch event coming up.
Yes . 15 October: Actonville Primary School. 20 focus schools. Principal and SGB head is attending, including some of our corporate partners – Edcon Group and others. Media is invited, and there will be finger lunch.
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