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d6 group going for zero-rating

The Department of Basic Education has recently made provision for zero-rating educational content and school Web sites. This will definitely contribute towards the current challenges facing schools in the distribution of curriculum-related information to learners and parents.

It is, however, our experience, through serving the more than 2 500 schools and more than 1 million parents actively using our d6 platform, that in most cases, schools do not use their Web sites for day-to-day communication or the distribution of resources (educational and other) to parents or learners. Our platform allows for multiple users (all teachers and staff) to send information to parents, no costly Web-master fees or experience is needed to load or post information on the site, and local (own school/teacher) content can be sent to the learners as opposed to third-party generic content with possible different context. To only allow a Web site to be zero-rated will, in most cases, only enable access to curriculum, but the guidance and facilitation of how to use the curriculum is missing.

Our d6 platform was specifically designed for this function and our clients (schools) also use the platform accordingly.

What we do:

d6 group provides more than 2 500 schools in South Africa with a communication platform, which enables schools to keep their parents, learners and staff up to date. The platform facilitates communication through e-mail, SMS and our d6 Connect and Communicator apps. We already have more than 1 million active monthly parents and staff using the app and especially during lockdown, schools use this to distribute homework and other educational content to keep everyone up to date.

What we contribute:

In our attempt to support schools as far as we can during COVID-19 and beyond, we have made our communication platform free of charge to all new schools until the end of June and also provide free weekly training to any school to ensure appropriate understanding and usage of the platform. We would also like to support lower income schools to enable effective communication during this time, but the cost of data is a challenge.

The challenge:

Unfortunately, in lower income households, the use of our d6 apps are challenging due to the high cost of data and the schools can only use SMS as a means to communicate. This is expensive and restrictive in terms of SMS capability.

What about reverse billing?

We have considered the possibility of "reverse billing" for the data used through our d6 platforms, but because d6 does not control the flow of communication between schools and parents in our apps, we have no control over the use of data, which makes reverse billing an unknown financial impact.

A big thank you to the following ISP's that participated in making our d6 Connect App zero rated:

Rain // Telkom // MWeb // Internet Services

Various schools have requested us to pursue the zero-rating of our apps as this is the main means of effective, official, verified information from the school to the school community.

Furthermore, not just serving our own clients, we would like to ensure that all schools can keep parents up to date with school and curriculum related matters (hence why we offer our platform at no charge until end of June), but this will require zero-rating of our d6 applications, which will enable all parents and learners to stay up to date with what's happening in their schools without data being a burden.

Click here for more information on assisting us to become a zero-rated-application for our schools.