Innovative online learning platform to assist with education in lockdown

By: Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS)

GIFS partnership leads to innovative SMART Learning Platform

The Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS) has partnered with SMART to provide innovative online educational material and tools aimed at assisting learners between Grade 0-12 with their daily learning activities during lockdown.

This GIFS-enabled learning platform is a long-term endeavour and will continue after lockdown has ended, but these online learning tools have never been more relevant in helping parents, teachers, and students cope during these challenging times.

“With this tool, we aim to meet a need in the public schooling system, where there is limited access to learning material and online resources during the lockdown,” says Dr Kershen Pillay, CEO of GIFS

SMART, short for Simply Managing Academic Related Tasks, was developed by clinical sociologist Dr Mariam Seedat-Khan to help teachers and parents find digital resources and learning tools for students during social distancing.

The learning material will be hosted on the GIFS platform and forms part of the #GIFSCares initiative, which also entails the designation of two GIFS courses for free learning to the South African public. This includes a course on Financial Literacy and an informative COVID-19 course.

“Our #GIFSCares initiative is our way of paying it forward and helping South Africa in every way we can, especially during the current climate,” says Pillay.

Seedat-Khan explains that access to resources and teaching material during lockdown is a massive challenge to teachers, learners and parents. The closure of academic institutions left educators little time to formulate a home-schooling strategy, and the situation is further exacerbated by the digital divide and inequality in the country.

These tools provide teachers, learners and parents with the indispensable core and academic materials to assist with learning during the lockdown.

“Those of us who are in the fortunate position to help must do all we can in this period of uncertainty,” says Pillay. “We need to ensure that all of us as parents, business owners, teachers and learners have a winning chance of moving forward once we have overcome this pandemic.”

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