Technology giants launch initiative to provide educational resources via cloud computing.
Vodacom and some of the biggest names in technology have teamed up with the Department of Education in South Africa to launch a multi-million rand scheme.
The mobile operator has collaborated with Microsoft, Cisco and Mindset Learn to form the Vodacom Mobile Education Programme to establish nine information and communications technology (ICT) centres, each serving 200 schools.
The programme, costing R20 million, will provide underserviced and underprivileged schools with access to educational material using cloud computing services.
Statistics from the department indicate that just 7 percent of schools in South Africa have a stocked library and only 10 percent have sufficient computers.
“This venture has a particular eye on ICT as an enabler, it’s really to provide connectivity and access and to allow teachers to be able to utilise ICT in a way that enhances the teachers ability to teach any subject across the grade,” said Deputy Minister of Basic Education Mohamed Enver Surty.
The initiative will help towards achieving the government’s 2013 target that all children who have passed grade 3 education would have had “exposure to ICT services”.
Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys said: “ICT can be the glue where all this comes together – we can get the information and centrally we know that it’s the latest quality information through ICT and distribute it to all the schools in the country and that’s how all our children will have access to quality education and opportunities”.