Posted in | 10 August, 2017

Praekelt.org: Utilising Mobile Airtime Incentives to Leverage Math Learning Platforms in South Africa

Praekelt.org_DT One
Meet Praekelt.org, an organisation collaborating with governments, NGOs and social enterprises to design, develop and implement scalable digital technologies to champion a social change. Through the medium of mobile, Praekelt.org delivers critical information and services to solve societal challenges, for instance, to inspire learning and improve healthcare, to over 100 million people spanning over 60 countries globally.

Crunching numbers using mobile airtime

An Investec funded initiative, dig-it, is a free, after-school revision platform with the goal of making Maths fun, and improving results in the classroom. dig-it is currently being piloted in Soweto, Mamelodi and Philippi (all townships in South Africa, as well as in rural QwaQwa). 6500 children from underprivileged backgrounds attending middle school are participating in the initiative, completing Maths questions delivered through a mobile website on their mobile phones. By scoring 80% or above in these short quizzes, the children are rewarded with 5 ZAR worth of mobile airtime each week, either ready to use or converted to mobile data to surf the internet – a significant motivation to perform well.

“Thank you very much, guys. The airtime helped me a lot

Melody, Grade 10, Iingcinga Zethu Secondary School,
Ceres, Western Cape

With an increasing number of young people owning and using mobile phones in South Africa and the gamification of education, using airtime as a tangible incentive tool is an apt method to engage this group and encourage learning in an effective manner.

Mastering seamless airtime distribution with DT One

Through a partnership with DT One, Praekelt.org is able to easily administer airtime incentives using our simple Batch Uploader tool – and DT One takes care of the entire integration process. Within a matter of minutes, they can reach thousands of users in multiple locations with one single click.

“DT One provides us with an easy and efficient way of distributing airtime to our learners. It’s got great tracking as well, which allows us to focus on making our platforms even better, and not worry about airtime,” said Lauren Kotze, dig-it Service Designer, Praekelt.org, South Africa.

By already exhibiting promising results, the dig-it initiative is now in the process of integrating into the mainstream education system in the region to measure the ratio of impact to performance at school. Additionally, Praekelt.org has offered airtime vouchers as rewards in further programmes. Tune Me, a youth engagement portal and mobile website, has reached over 1 million users in 6 countries (Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland) and intend to run this incentive in even more locations. Previously, Tune Me in Zambia had a themed competition where users were asked to share their stories on specific topics (e.g. have you ever dated someone with HIV?). The objective was to collect real first-person narratives from users which were relatable to other readers. Praekelt.org distributed mobile airtime rewards to writers whose submissions were used.

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