Giving Compass’ Take:
• Vodacom launched an e-school portal in South Africa that helps increase access to the internet. The portal allows students to engage with learning material that aligns with the South African schools’ curriculum.
• How can philanthropists partner with tech companies to fund initiatives that not only create access, but sustain tech literacy, especially in more countries that have rural townships?
• Read about the challenges that Americans face in getting internet access.
Access to the internet has turned the world into every global citizen’s backyard and amplified ideas that are changing the world. More than anything, access to the internet gives people the ability to educate and empower themselves. Yet, only 54% of South Africans have access to the internet.
To help bridge this digital divide, mobile communications company Vodacom launched the e-School portal three years ago. This initiative is a demonstration of Vodacom’s core belief that information and communication technology (ICT) and mobile technology can be utilised to improve and advance learning while addressing skills development, especially among learners who attend school in townships and rural areas. The portal has over 531,000 registered learners nationally.
The portal’s curriculum is aligned with regulations and policies set the Department of Basic Education. The content is available in all 11 South African official languages and includes assignments, quizzes and learning videos.
“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,” said Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer for corporate affairs at the Vodacom Group.
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.
“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,” Netshitenzhe said.
Read the full article about improving access to the internet by Lerato Mogoatlhe at Global Citizen
If you are looking for more articles and resources for STEM, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and STEM.
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