“The primary concern in a crisis has to be public safety,” remarks SMSPortal MD Charles Stretch. “By enabling universities to communicate critical information with their staff and students directly on their cellphones, they can ensure public safety and reduce misinformation circulating."
SMSPortal has had many NMMU and UCT computer science students enter its software development internship program and founders James Pearce and Charles Stretch are NMMU Alumni. "We were students once," adds Stretch, "and we know students don't want to waste valuable money going online to find out the current situation. Using SMS cuts out expensive data charges and puts the right information into the right hands at the right time. A necessity during the current fees must fall crisis."
NMMU is committed to concluding its academic year with students continuing to receive faculty-specific plans, and support material and the donation of 500,000 SMSs to the institution will go a long way in achieving its goal.
At UCT, given the nature of many course deliveries, faculties have different solutions to enabling students to finish the 2016 academic year. For example, some professors will examine students only on the material that was taught up to the end of the first eight weeks of the second semester. The donation of 500,000 SMSs to UCT will assist in clarifying expectations between the university and its students.
"This varying information between establishments and their faculties requires transparent sharing of information to give students peace of mind about their studies and exams," adds Stretch. "There has been a massive investment in terms of time and money from students, and it's only right they see their studies through to the end just as we were lucky enough to do."
Issued by SMSPortal
Tel: +27 (0) 41 504 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 41 504 2574 / 2731
PO Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa
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