Johannesburg: Nedbank has launched a range of innovative digital offerings aimed specifically at easing the administrative burden at South African schools, helping schools become more efficient and enhancing the education outcomes of learners.
According to Mark Rose (seen in above image), Head of New Business Development for Nedbank Business Banking, the bank’s suite of digital solutions for schools is a holistic offering that will not only make it easier and safer for teachers, parents and learners to complete financial transactions, but also ensure that schools have to spend less time managing money and procurement, so that they can focus on their core function, which is educating the country’s learners.
‘Nedbank invested considerable time and resources into fully understanding the financial and operational landscapes of schools in our country and identifying the challenges they face in terms of procuring the items and services they need. We also identified challenges schools face when receiving and processing money from parents,’ Rose explains, ‘and this allowed us to collaborate with these educational institutions to develop a suite of digital solutions that will benefit all stakeholders.’
This suite of innovative solutions includes SchoolAdvisor, brought in partnership with SchoolAdvisor, which is a procurement solution specifically made for schools that allows staff to easily access price comparisons between suppliers as well as independent reviews of the quality of service and products each of these suppliers provides, saving schools significant time and getting them the best deal possible.
To enable easy and secure payments and receipts Nedbank offers the Karri App, which is a mobile payment platform that parents can use to make payments for their children’s participation in school events. The app makes it easy for teachers and administrators to remind parents about payment deadlines as well as allocate the payments they receive, all without the need for learners to have to carry cash or for the schools to have to hold large sums of money on their premises.
The Nedbank suite of school solutions also includes a digital offering focused on helping learners improve their education outcomes. Tendopro is a Nedbank-sponsored, free education platform that allows learners to access supplementary learning and revision material online. The solution offers learners a compelling incentive to work through the material, allowing them to earn ‘Tendoberries’ as they progress, which they can then redeem for airtime, data bundles and music downloads.
‘When developing these solutions, we first ensured that we fully understood the relationships, connections and transactions that schools typically have with their various stakeholder groups,’ Rose explains, ‘and then determined how we can add value by enhancing those relationships and outcomes through technology and our financial expertise.’
He points out that education is a surprisingly competitive sector and schools work tirelessly to achieve a balance between attracting and retaining learners, delivering consistently good academic results, and offering effective learning and sporting facilities. Schools that are successful in achieving this balance are typically those that are able to collaborate with their key stakeholders to invest in technology and other assets, and leverage digital solutions to enhance learning.
‘Our understanding of these requirements has allowed us to deliver digital solutions and design unique funding offerings that support the necessary growth plans of South African schools,’ he says, ‘while at the same time ensuring that these vital educational institutions deliver on their key mandate, which is to produce educated and well-rounded young people.’
Rose points out that this latest suite of solutions amplifies Nedbank’s purpose to use its expertise to do good for individuals and communities, and builds on its well-established commitment to supporting and enabling quality education outcomes at all levels in South Africa.
‘In 2017 alone Nedbank, through its primary corporate social investment arm, the Nedbank Foundation, invested R72 million in education in South Africa,’ Rose explains, ‘all of which is focused on making a positive difference to the country’s schooling sector and enhancing schools’ capacity to develop the leaders our country needs to take us forward to a brighter future.’
‘Developing this suite of digital solutions afforded us the privilege of gaining an even better understanding of the ecosystem of schools in our country,’ Rose concludes, ‘and we intend using those insights to constantly refine these solutions and develop innovative offerings that add value to our schools, reduce their administrative burden, and maximise the positive impact they have on the lives of the young people they nurture.’
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