Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe and a host of students have testified how MTN’s policy of zero-rating University learning platforms is productive and cost-effective.
Nwangwe talked up the opportunity after negotiations with the telecom giant. “Our negotiations with MTN Uganda yielded a lot of fruit as the telecom company has accepted to zero-rate six of our (Makerere University) online learning platforms.
“We applaud them for this. I now urge our students and lecturers to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said when MTN first announced the offer, two weeks ago.
Doreen Namuli, a second year student of Economics at Makerere University also revealed how she initially underestimated the lock-down but had to come to terms with its effects, MTN’s initiative helping big time.
“When Universities closed in March, I thought it would be for a short time so I decided to
take a break from studies and relax a bit,” she said.
“But when the first three weeks ended, I started feeling rusty and I knew I had to read in order not to lose grips on what I had learnt and hopefully, use this time to read ahead.
“Back at campus, I would easily download this material from the library or anywhere around the University with WiFi. So I asked my parents to buy me data bundles.”
Like Namuli, Lynn Kwikiriza, a third year Law student at Uganda Christian University admitted to the biting cost of data while studying at home; “I was used to opting for the library Wi-Fi while at campus. Mobile data while at home is quite costly given these hard times.”
MTN closed that gap by zero rating university elearning sites, just like it did for the Primary and secondary school learners. Students from universities including Makerere, Uganda Christian University, Uganda Martyrs, Kyambogo, International University of East Africa, Mbarara and Gulu are benefiting from this offer.
By zero rating the elearning platforms, lecturers can upload study materials to the platforms at no data cost to enable students study for free while at home.
“Oh my God, It’s the best offer ever. You know how we lawyers read widely and heavily. I am sorted,” Kwikiriza said hysterically. “It’s amazing and very convenient. I can see their results and course work marks at any time without data worries.”
According to Trevor Ochom, a final year student of Education at Kyambogo University
this offer is an answered prayer.
“When it’s all said and done, I know we shall have quite a marathon back at university once schools re open. So the best way to keep up is by reading ahead while at home,” says Ochom, noting that this offer makes studying while at home very easy. “You don’t even need a laptop, a simple smart phone is enough. I appeal to fellow students to use their time at home productively.”