Several South African universities are working to get educational resources to under-digitalised students thanks to a collaboration with a logistics company.
South Africa (30 July 2020) – South Africa’s top universities, including The University of Cape Town (UCT), The University of the Free State (UFS), Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Rhodes University, have partnered with Pargo to distribute essential study materials to under-digitalised students around the country. By utilising Pargo’s nationwide network of over 2,500 Pickup Points, universities are enabling all students’ participation in E-learning.
The ongoing COVID crisis is affecting us all in profound ways and the Education sector is no different. With 1st-year dropout rates increasing to 68% since the start of lockdown, tertiary institutions have had to adopt E-learning to ensure that their students get the education they deserve. However, the hurdles some South African students face in getting the resources required for remote learning created a unique logistical challenge for universities to solve.
The reality is that many South African students live in remote areas without home delivery addresses and they have limited access to technology, making the shift to digital learning difficult. This problem of access is all too familiar for Pargo, South Africa’s Leading Smart Logistics Platform, as it is precisely this frustration that ultimately led to the creation of their vast network of pickup points.
“With universities switching to E-learning, we realised our network of pickup points could be used to deliver study materials to students living in hard to reach areas. In partnership with several of South Africa’s top tertiary institutions, it became our mission to ensure that all students in the country could finish the academic year.”, says Lars Veul, CEO and co-founder of Pargo.
“It is important to understand our appreciation of a company such as Pargo for being ready to respond to this isolation and emotional strain, by offering an infrastructure of reach to the neediest and yet capable students.”, says Professor Pearl Sithole, Vice-Principal: Academic and Research, QwaQwa Campus, University of the Free State.
The response from students has been overwhelmingly positive. The convenient location of the pickup points, found at popular retail stores like Clicks, Spar, Caltex, has especially been highlighted by students as key to their successful E-learning transition.
Through Pargo’s tailored distribution solution for the education sector, universities can send students study materials to any Pargo Pickup Point, which students can then collect at a time that suits them best. To return their assignments, universities simply send them empty flybags with preprinted waybills, which students can then return to a pickup point once completed. Both students and university staff receive thorough updates on the status of the parcels on route for delivery and returns due to Pargo’s innovative live-tracking technology.
With the end of the academic year approaching, universities are also concerned about the emotional well-being of students. To ensure that learners get their full student experience, Pargo will assist with the distribution of end-of-year essentials such as graduation certificates and class memorabilia, like hoodies and jackets.
Pargo’s smart logistics platform is available to all education providers, including schools, universities, distance learning institutions and Technikons.
For more information visit: pargo.co.za/education-sector or phone 021 447 3636.