South Africa’s Vodacom has launched Mobile Education Programme, an initiative that provides teachers in the country with better access to ICT-based educational resources and ensures that more students have exposure to ICT.
The programme is being rolled out in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Microsoft, Cisco and Mindset Learn.
Pieter Uys, Vodacom's CEO, said that the Mobile Education Programme involves a significant investment in youth, and also serves as a key component of the telco’s commitment to using mobiles for good. “Through this initiative, teachers will now be able to use cloud computing to access vital content, teacher-aids and resources to help deliver quality education," he added.
This nationwide teacher development programme aids the quality of instruction in all subjects, especially mathematics and physical science, two of the most challenging subjects for students in South Africa.
As part of the launch, Vodacom and the Department of Basic Education have created nine ICT Resource Centres, one in every province, each serving up to 200 schools. The ICT Resource Centres are connected through Virtual Private Network (VPN) to Vodacom's head office in Midrand.
Uys also said: “The Vodacom Mobile Education Programme not only levels the playing field for rural schools that often don't have access to the same quality of teaching material that urban schools have, but it also ensures that schools, teachers, learners and communities have access to ICT and the internet, and this is important to us because it mirrors our commitment to ensuring that Vodacom puts the power of the internet into everyone's hands.”
Vodacom has, over the past decade, invested more than R660 million ($82.93 million) in education, health and security.