By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha
Down in South Africa, a mobile revolution is slowly unfolding. On Tuesday, Vodacom, one of South Africa’s leading cellular networks, announced the launch of a mobile education programme that will fundamentally change the way education is delivered in the country.
The programme, launched in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Microsoft, Cisco and Mindset Learn will see teachers accessing vital content, teacher-aids and resources to help deliver quality education via mobile telephony.
“This launch is perhaps one of the most important initiatives that we have introduced. It involves a significant investment in our youth, who are the future of our country, and is a critical component of our commitment to using mobiles for good. Through this initiative, teachers will now be able to use cloud computing to access vital content, teacher-aids and resources to help deliver quality education,” said Pieter Uys, Vodacom’s CEO.
It is anticipated that the programme will upgrade the quality of instruction by ensuring that teachers throughout the country, both rural and urban, have access to the highest quality teaching resources.
According to media reports, Vodacom and the Department of Basic Education have, as part of this launch, created nine ICT Resource Centres, one in every province, each serving up to 200 schools. The centres serve as the district teacher-training hub and are outfitted with computer classrooms with 50 terminals and an Internet Café.
“The ICT Resource Centres are connected through Virtual Private Network (VPN) to Vodacom’s head office in Midrand. This connection serves as a pipeline of information, connecting the centres, participating schools and teachers to the Internet and to valuable teacher training resources,” reported CSRAfrica.net.
“Training will focus on ICT literacy, as well as the effective use and integration of digital content in the classroom. To support this training, educators are provided with the necessary ICT infrastructure and tools.”