Before I delve much into this article let me start off by laying out for you who SMBLO is. SMBLO is an online Learning Management System (LMS) tailor-made for you to document, track, report, and deliver educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. Their LMS platform provides schools with a secure database accessible to their students, teachers and staff. Each student will be able to log in to the platform and input the name of their school. They will be taken to a screen with all of their subjects and lessons. The students will be able to chat with their peers, download lessons and resources for offline access. That is what SMBLO is all about. By the way, SMBLO stands for Save Money By Learning Online. I shall be talking a bit more about them later on but for now, here is a noteworthy side note.

E-Learning Now An Indispensable Go-To

I am one person who has repeatedly underscored the importance to migrate businesses online. The other key industry where that approach has to be adopted is education or academia. As we speak there are so many schools that have not been able to continue with their normal activities since the lockdowns started. This is because most academic institutions have frameworks that are wholly brick and mortar. The best way to circumvent the current status quo is to have online learning frameworks.

Some academic institutions have these in place whilst some have seriously started working on having them. Get this; this should not just be to deal with the lockdown limitations only. Rather it should be a matter of principle. Going forward, pandemic or no pandemic there should be abundant options for people learn online at whatever level. That is why I find innovations such as this one by SMBLO very timely and noble.

Exciting Things Being Offered

They offer 6 main features namely, creation of lessons, sharing assignments, tests and quizzes, monitoring students, centralized and collaborative learning, virtual classrooms and automatic reports. Here is something to really note – schools do not pay anything to access the platform. Students pay just US$1 per month. All that will be inclusive of hosting, maintenance and technical support.

The Press Statement

Zim Based e-Learning Platform; SMBLO celebrates 1000 Students

Customized Learning Management System experiences rapid growth as they launch

A software development company announces the launch of a learning management system that enables schools to educate their students online. This system provides schools with the ability to create lessons, tests and assignments, create virtual classrooms with automated reports.

Founded by Nigel Misi, Amanda Marufu and Tawanda Chitongo this management system was created during the countrywide lockdown, following a time of uncertainty of what would become of the education sector during this pandemic. Based on statistics conducted by the Ministry of primary and secondary education in Zimbabwe we have:

902,327 students in Pre-primary‎, 2,788,693 in Primary, ‎1,953,352 in Secondary and ‎1,354,863 in Tertiary institutions

This translates to almost 7 million students who will be out of school during this time.

One of the Founders, Amanda Marufu is quoted as saying, ‘Although this is the first time we have gone through a pandemic, facing economic challenges is not something new for our country. Years ago another economic downfall meant I could not continue with my schooling and that is why during this lockdown we have worked hard to create a working solution to ensure that for other school kids this would not be the case.’

The SMBLO team came together compelled to develop a working solution by the beginning of the Second Term. The platform was created with simplicity in mind, creating an easy to use solution for everyone regardless of tech proficiency.

Having released preliminary videos on WhatsApp approaching their launch they were able to garner support from parents and schools alike gaining them a total of 1000 registered students.

They have also been in talks with schools in the rural areas of Zimbabwe and are working diligently to create programs that will allow students from low-income homes to access the platform while adhering to social distancing. These include Sponsor A Student Program and the development of a data provision system that will give data to the students that need it. At the low price of US$1 a month, this is a solution that was created to make sure that there is no child left behind in the quest to educate ALL.”

This is a platform solely for e-learning so schools and students this is definitely for you. You can find out more on their website. Alternatively, you can contact Amanda on amanda@smblo.com or on +263 713 441 668. E-learning is definitely the way to go in this digital age – do not be left behind. You can get more information on the website.