The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down schools in most African countries. A multi-agency UN communication provided guidelines on how learning institutions can be prevented from spreading the virus. It advises national and local governments to come up with emergency procedures.
The D.R.C too had to shut down classes after confirming its first case on March 10. The close of the primary-middle-high schools and universities has boosted innovation in ways of adopting distance learning. Schoolap is a new company founded by young Congolese that revolutionizes learning in a country where access to books and learning materials is a big challenge.
On June 13, Gentiny Ngobila, the Governor of the city of Kinshasa, launched the first 50 school wifi spaces. The digital learning platform can be accessed at www.shoolap.com. There are several online lessons that are tailored to the DRC curriculum and target schools in Kinshasa and the Eastern parts of the country. The program aims to provide educational content during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative will equip 24 municipal administrations, 5 provincial regions of EPSP, and 24 schools (selected by the ministry). The city governor confirmed that the installation of 24 municipal administrations will involve all stakeholders.
The project manager tasked with the Provincial Agency for Digital Development is under instruction to ensure the project fits within the operational plan of digital development. The governor hopes to merge all digital players so they can pool their resources together.
The project aspires to create a digital ecosystem where public service is one pillar and the private sector & NGOs form the other. Pascal Kanik, the co-founder of Schoolap, attended the ceremony and pledged his support in efforts to digitize the capital DRC.
In an earlier interview with CNBC Africa, he disclosed Schoolap’s vision to improve the quality and access to education in the DRC.