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The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.
Vodacom's Education ecosystem
Vodacom made a pledge at the Global Citizen Festival in December 2018 to spend R500 million over the next five years through the Vodacom Foundation. This investment will go towards funding digital literacy for learners, youth, teachers, Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, including a contribution to fighting gender-based violence and the eradication of pit latrines in the ECD centres and schools. To date, the Vodacom Foundation has spent R33 million on infrastructure development at ECD centres and schools of excellence alone. Each teacher centre is also used as a technology hub to provide internet access to communities. More than 1 340 female farmers were trained in ICT and 1 333 Youth Academy graduates were produced at the teacher centres in South Africa. A work skills programme, which will focus on re-training unemployed Your Academy alumni is being introduced to the centres. 63 young people from the Youth Academy have been deployed to schools of excellence, NPOs and teacher centres. Some of the Women in Farming beneficiaries are parents to learners from the schools of excellence.
Vodacom in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has established 92 teacher centres across the country that serve as District hubs for continuous training for teachers, youth and Department officials. Vodacom pays for the renovation and maintenance, provides furniture and offers unlimited connectivity to all 92 teacher centres. Over 300 000 teachers have been trained in various ICT programmes. Our focus going forward is to introduce emerging digital technologies into the centres and make a distinction between Vodacom-provided training and DBE curriculum training.
In 2014, Vodacom established the Youth Academy Programme which addresses the lack of digital skills for out of school unemployed youth. The NQF accredited ICT training courses run for a period of 18 months and the training comprises of; End-user computing and Technical training on IT support and Networking.
In the light of the corona virus outbreak, the Vodacom e-School portal has played a key role in ensuring that learners and teachers receive free access to digital content. Vodacom and the Department of Basic Education had a National and Provincial campaign and this activation campaign has seen over 1.2 million registrations on the portal.
Being part of e-School is easy. All that you need to do is visit Vodacom e-School from your cell phone, tablet or laptop to register.
Vodacom e-School provides the following:
• Unlimited free access to educational content (for revision and self-study)
• Fully aligned to the Department of Basic Education Curriculum (CAPS, NCS & IEB)
• Mobile first technology
• Supported by AI and Machine Learning to enhance learner’s education capabilities.
Our strategic objectives are to:
- Increase ICT penetration in the education sector by providing ICT equipment
- Provide free internet access to relevant, quality digital education content
- Build digital skills and training for a digital environment
- Promote reading and learning through the use of ICT by providing E-Libraries
- Address issues of Gender-based violence using ICT as a platform
- Provide opportunities for young people to build skills and improve employability while also entrenching a culture of service
At Vodacom our purpose is to connect people, create possibilities and change lives. With cutting edge technology and a can-do attitude, the Vodacom Foundation has invested over R1 billion rand in various programmes that have made a considerable impact in improving education, bringing quality health care to rural areas and supporting the fight against crime and violence.