In April, Vodacom announced that it had been awarded the contract to supply a School Management Solution to the Eastern Cape Department of Education to help with the administration of schools in the province. At a ceremony in Mthatha today, Vodacom and the Department officially launched the Programme for Mobile Devices, which will see a total of 5 441 government schools benefit from the project. Vodacom’s subsidiary Mezzanine also provided a live demonstration of how the technology works.
South Africa continues to face an education infrastructure backlog, including a lack of classrooms and libraries. The new digital School Management Solution will allow Eastern Cape schools to leapfrog physical infrastructure challenges by using ICT technology to improve education outcomes.
The Solution enables the Department to communicate with each school as well as collect information about its activities including time and attendance, pupil grade tracking, asset management and effective implementation of The National School Nutrition Programme. The School Management Solution assimilates with the South African School Administration Management Solution, making the platform easier to use as well as preventing any duplication.
Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer at Vodacom Business, says: “Our partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Education will bring much needed assistance to provincial schools. We believe that the ‘Educator First’ approach to digitising education is the most pragmatic one. When educators have been empowered with technology and are proficient in its use, we are likely to see greater impact on teaching and learning outcomes.”
The Eastern Cape Department of Education’s Superintendent General, Themba Kojana, says: “The Eastern Cape Department of Education looks forward to working closely with our partner Vodacom to digitise school management across the province, thereby improving education outcomes and Departmental efficiency.”
Each of the more than 5 000 school principals involved in the project will receive one laptop and one tablet preloaded with the School Management App. These can also be used as enterprise mobility tools as each device is equipped with R200 worth of airtime and 2GB of data per month. The Department has procured over 18 000 laptops for all foundation phase teachers (Grade R to Grade 3) for both teaching and learning purposes.
Teachers will also have access to Vodacom’s zero-rated e-school platform through the Solution, which offers curriculum-approved content to assist teaching and learning. All devices are secured through the Vodacom Secure Device Management solution, ensuring that the content is security protected.