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Cassava launches integrated smart digital learning platform


Listed technology company Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe on Wednesday launched Akello Edutech, a digital learning platform which offers education and learning resources for learners of all age groups – from primary school to post-graduate students.

Speaking at the launch of the platform in Harare, Cassava Smartech CEO Eddie Chibi said Akello Edutech, which will incorporate Ruzivo Extramarks, the yet to be unveiled Akello Books, Akello Courses and Muzinda Hub – would harness technology to change and enhance the way students learn, offer unparalleled access to education materials, and complement existing learning methods as well as systems.

“Once again we have identified a vital need in the education space and proceeded to develop a solution that will offer critical and unparalleled digital learning resources while complimenting the current education system,” he said.

Chibi said Akello Edutech was one of the strategic business pillars that Cassava Smartech had set up to offer focused, tech-driven solutions to various sectors of the economy.

Akello Edutech, he said, was the pillar responsible for offering transformative, technology-driven innovations and digital solutions in the education sector.

“Akello Edutech is dedicated to providing affordable digital education content. We offer novel learning solutions and products aimed at up-skilling learners from primary school up to university and beyond,” Chibi said.

He said he was confident of success because of the large and perpetual demand for education, and because of the Akello Edutech platform’s capability to provide wide, online access to learning resources.

“I am very confident in the value that Akello Edutech will bring to millions of students in Zimbabwe and in Africa because every child, young adult, professionals and anyone who wants to remain relevant, needs an education or has need for continuous learning,” Chibi added.

“The platform we launch today provides access to affordable online learning from anywhere, irrespective of distance or geography.”

Speaking at the launch event, Akello Edutech chief operating officer Tendai Mashingaidze described Akello Edutech as designed to offer targeted services to different education market segments, through specifics offers, namely Ruzivo Extramarks, Akello Books, Akello Courses and Muzinda Hub.

“Ruzivo Extramarks is an integrated learning and school management platform that offers schools a one-stop-shop for online learning and school management,” he said.

“Using well-illustrated, animated and interactive Cambridge and local content, Ruzivo Extramarks makes the learning process for primary and secondary scholars easy and enjoyable.”

Paying tribute to various partners and content providers, Mashingaidze said Akello Books consisted an online bookstore that provides on-the-go, affordable and reliable access to world-class ebooks to individuals, students, schools, colleges and universities.

“The platform provides both academic and non-academic content from internationally recognised publishers across the globe,” he said. “We have partnered with some of largest content aggregators and distributors, and so far there are over 260,000 titles on Akello books.”

Akello Courses, he said, provides an array of skills-development courses in partnership with global educator Shaw Academy, giving students an “unparalleled interactive learning experience”, adding that there were over 16 diploma courses from six disciplines already available.

He said Muzinda Hub was a technology hub dedicated to providing access to globally competitive digital skills training, with over 3 000 students having been trained to date.

“On offer is a five month digital skills training programme, which consists of specialised e-learning coding modules (in conjunction with Treehouse, a US based Silicon Valley organisation),” Mashingaidze said.

“The students are also offered business and entrepreneurship skills training which enables them to get into the market as entrepreneurs, consultants or employees.”

Meanwhile, John Dhehwa, the principal director for curriculum development and technical Services in the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, who represented the minister Paul Mavhima, gave a ringing endorsement of the Akello Edutech as he officially opened the platform and its services.

He said it was the government’s policy to encourage competent and equitable digital learning to all, saying the positive impact of digital learning in the country could never be understated and portended well for the future of the country.

Cassava Smartech was listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in December 2018 and at $3.8 billion market capitalisation, immediately became one of the largest counters on the stock exchange.

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