On Thursday, 05 February Vodacom introduced its education portal called Vodacom e-school at Riet Valley Combined School, KwaZulu Natal. The Vodacom e-school serves as a learning platform with Internet access to education content sites for all grades 10-12 high school South African learners.
(Suraya Hamdulay and Palesa Phili from Vodacom with the top students from Riet Valley Combined School – Photo by Mia Morison)
Through Vodacom’s e-school, learners who are Vodacom subscribers will now be able to access classroom content, which is curriculum aligned on their mobile device across all major subjects for free, as Vodacom has zero rated browsing on the site for its customers.
Vodacom executive head for corporate citizenship, Suraya Hamdulay says: “The project is in line with Vodacom’s ongoing drive to help provide ICT tools and Internet connectivity to communities that do not have access. By providing access to Internet services to improve the standard of education, Vodacom is able to uplift learners and the quality of education.”
Hamdulay explains: “We know that many learners in our country often do not have access to learning material such as textbooks, which makes excelling at school more difficult. Through the Vodacom e-school platform, we can help address this challenge.
She says: “As an investor in the country and partner of the Department of Basic Education, our goal is to ensure that learners throughout the country have access to some basic tools to help enhance their learning outside of the classroom.”
All that users need do is visit Vodacom.co.za/e-school from their cell phone, tablet or laptop to register. Thereafter, they will enjoy unlimited access to education content. For those who are not customers of Vodacom, data charges will be incurred for logging on to the site.
Hamdulay says: “Most learners have access to cell phones, laptops or tablets in one way or another, but may not have adequate data. Having free access to our education content portal will now help remove the barriers to e-learning.
“Learners can now complete lessons from their school syllabus, to help them improve their marks. They can also track their progress and see how they are performing compared to other students in a fun, easy and interactive way.
“Supporting education is the main focus of the Vodacom Foundation. Vodacom e-school reflects our commitment to help improve the standard and quality of education in our country.”
Other Vodacom Foundation social investment programmes include:
· The Mobile Education programme, which is Vodacom’s holistic approach to ensuring sustainable benefit to educators and learners by providing Internet connectivity, ICT equipment, content and teacher training through 40 ICT centres across South Africa.
· School Connectivity is aimed at providing Internet connectivity to schools across the country.
· The Vodacom Bursary Scheme supports learners by providing bursaries primarily in the science and technology fields.
· Vodacom Millionaires donates up to four computer centres to public schools in South Africa every month.
· Vodacom also supports the Department of Basic Education in its food security programme to help enhance learner nutrition in schools over holiday periods.