Ukufunda, the virtual classroom app aimed at high school learners, teachers and parents has racked up 147 161 since launching a pilot project in September of last year.

Ukufunda, which is modelled on schools regarded as centres of excellence, was launched by the Department of Basic Education, UNICEF and The Reach Trust and is hosted as a portal on the Mxit instant messaging platform.

The app was originally developed by a young man named Mbuyiselo Ndlovu who hails from a rural village in KwaZulu-Natal.

On Ukufinda, users can access content such as school calendars, links to counselling and emergency services, links to textbooks and reference material, study tips, the periodic table of elements and reading and subject resources from Nali’bali, Rethink Education, FunDza and Learn Xtra.

At launch, around 3 000 schools had signed up for the Ukufunda pilot phase which saw the release of the Ukfunda Teacher app. The Ukufunda learner and parent app was later released and at the moment, the majority of its users are grade 12 learners.

The success of Ukufunda has also given birth to a new featured app called Ukufunda Communicator, which is hosted within the main portal to act as an instant messaging service for teachers and learners to promote effective and efficient information and knowledge sharing.

“Through Ukufunda Communicator, professional learning communities can be formed around specific subject areas or groups of officials to service a wide range of the DBE and provincial education departments’ communication needs,” said Shafika Isaacs who has been working with The Reach Trust on behalf of the DBE and UNICEF.

Ukufunda is widely accessible on over 8 000 and works on both feature and smartphones.