Maxis’ eKelas aims to bring after-school digital education to rural and urban poor

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Looking to make after-school education more accessible to the rural and urban poor, Maxis launches their “flagship” Corporate Responsibility program eKelas. This programme is designed to improve academic performance of students in the rural and urban poor communities in three core subjects.

Maxis’ eKelas is essentially a tuition programme for students in Form 1, 2 and 3 who can’t afford to pay expensive tuition fees. The eKelas will focus on Science, Mathematics and English with programmes carried out through live tutorials by experienced teachers engaged by the green telco. Maxis also insists that eKelas will not just be about lessons, but also about “fun and exciting activities” designed to engage students.

Collaborating with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), eKelas classes will be held at Pusat Internet 1Malaysia locations. For those who are unaware, Pusat Internet 1Malaysia (PI1M) is a government initiative under the 2013 Budget that equips each PI1M centre with facilities like high-speed broadband, WiFi connectivity and devices like computers, fax services, printers and more. These centres also supply training and development programmes.

Maxis plans to roll out eKelas classes to the 118 PI1M locations under the company’s care over the next 5 years. In 2016, Maxis carried out a pilot programme in the states of Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor, Putrajaya, Sarawak and Negri Sembilan. This pilot programme saw participation from 10 different PI1Ms attracting about 1,200 students in total. For 2017, the company plans to add an additional 10, building towards the company’s ultimate goal of 118.

Maxis states that some of the biggest challenges when it comes to holding eKelases is infrastructure limitation. Maxis says that based on their pilot programme, the PI1Ms require a connection speed of at least 8Mbps to host eKelases reliably. The PI1Ms, however, are only equipped with 4Mbps connections so, depending on the requirements, the company will have to upgrade the necessary infrastructure before they can extend the programme.

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According to Maxis, a student can participate by simply registering for the programme at their nearest participating PI1Ms. However, registration is on a first-come-first-served basis and each training room can only accommodate a maximum of 25 people.

Classes are held from 3pm to 6pm on Fridays and from 10am to 6pm on Saturdays, with each session spanning one hour.

For more information on this, head on over to Maxis’ website.