Vodacom Extends Zero-rated Education Access to Participating Universities

As pioneers of remote learning in South Africa, Vodacom is in the process of extending its e-learning programme to participating universities across the country. Discussions are currently underway with universities in order to fast-track the implementation of this initiative. This will enable universities to provide free access to their academic content to all Vodacom student subscribers until the end of this academic year.

At Vodacom we have long believed in the centrality of digital platforms in transforming how education is delivered in the African continent hence our accelerated investments in digital content delivery platforms. 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, address skills development and help in finding employment. The Vodacom e-school portal, launched in January 2015, NXT LVL Careers (launched in June this year) and now the zero rated educational content for participating universities are prime examples of how Vodacom is contributing to society. Already there are 176 980 learners registered on the e-school portal.

Chief Officer: Vodacom Corporate Affairs, Takalani Netshitenzhe says: “Vodacom is committed to ensuring that learners throughout the country have access to some of the basic tools to help enhance their learning experience. This current initiative with universities serves to further demonstrate that Vodacom is committed to the digitisation of education through its e-learning programmes. ”

Other Vodacom initiatives 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 81 ICT centres across the country.

• Vodacom Tries for Books campaign. The programme is an educational content application, which is freely available on tablets at the 81 Vodacom ICT resource centres that are situated across the country. The e-library has been up loaded with e-books made available by publishing partners including Via Afrika, Oxford University Press, Shuter & Shooter and FunDza. Internet connectivity and access to the e-libraries is free.

• In a bid to help address skills development and job creation within the ICT sector, Vodacom together with its partners Independent Development Trust (IDT) and Cisco embarked on a drive to help empower unemployed youth with ICT skills training. The partnership trains unemployed youth in ICT skills and helps further develop them into ICT entrepreneurs. To date, 273 trainees have gained basic computer skills, IT essentials, enterprise development and business skills through the programme.

• Vodacom Millionaires every month donates a fully equipped computer centres and provides free access to the Internet to disadvantaged schools. More than 420 schools have been given computer centres and free Internet connectivity through Vodacom Millionaire.