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Vodacom in partnership with the Department of Basic Education unveil a new education ecosystem in KwaZulu Natal
The ecosystem recognises that the success of the education system depends on a smooth interface and implementation of various pillars, underpinned by partnership of various players
HILLCREST – Today, Vodacom in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE), UN Women, Nelson Mandela Foundation and Global Citizen, introduced the new education ecosystem at the Sthandokuhle Creche and Pre-School and Hlahlindlela High School in Hillcrest, KwaZulu Natal province. Through the new education ecosystem, Vodacom will define an inclusive model of support and corporate social investment in local communities by supporting education from childhood to adulthood and using technology to significantly transform our education system.
The latest unveiling follows a successful launch of Vodacom’s education ecosytem in Limpopo province in March where the programme is now fully functional.
The new education ecosystem will see Vodacom intensify its support to its already established 12 schools of excellence, identified in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, and the 15 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres Vodacom committed to upgrading over a period of three years. This forms part of Vodacom’s commitment to bring about quality education for previously disadvantaged communities.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs for Vodacom Group commented: “Enabling positive social outcomes is integral to what we do and our approach to sustainable business ensures that we are committed to aligning our business goals with the delivery of societal benefits. We have a duty to work within communities to create better, more equal societies, an aim that is at the heart of Vodacom’s vision and purpose.”
“In this regard and as part of our commitment to bring about quality education for previously disadvantaged communities, in 2019 we have started unveiling a new education ecosystem to support government’s Vision 2030 comprehensive approach to education. The ecosystem recognises that the success of the education system depends on a smooth interface and implementation of various pillars, underpinned by partnership of various players .”
The education ecosystem supports the provision of quality education through six focus areas. Vodacom’s approach covers all levels of education from early childhood development (ECD) to adult education, and encompasses the learners, teachers, parents, communities, adequate learning material, infrastructure and nutrition.
The primary goal is for communities and parents to participate in the ecosystem and assist in safeguarding school infrastructure. In many of the marginalised and rural communities, educational institutions and facilities are poorly resourced, the infrastructure is in poor condition, and there is no access to technology. Through the education ecosystem, Vodacom will be addressing some of these socioeconomic challenges faced by communities to significantly transform our education system.
Vodacom currently has 12 education ecosystems across the country. At the centre of each ecosystem is a school of excellence, identified in partnership with the DBE and established by the Vodacom Foundation in 2019. Each school is located close to an ECD centre, teacher centre and youth academy. Vodacom through its Foundation aims to improve the quality of education in the schools of excellence, to promote improved digital literacy and matric results in the long term.
Vodacom upgraded the infrastructure of the crèche, eradicating pit latrines and replacing it with the appropriate sanitation and a borehole, as well as installing a trolley solution with tablet devices as part of a mobile library. Sthandokuhle Creche and Hlahlindlela High School pit latrines were also replaced with proper sanitation.
Vodacom also provided the Hlahlindlela High School with a fully equipped and connected computer lab, fitted with 60 computers and connectivity. The company performed upgrades in the school infrastructure, including eradicating the pit latrine and replacing it with proper sanitation, installing security systems at the school and replacing broken windows and doors and fixing collapsed ceilings.
The high school forms part of Vodacom Schools of Excellence, a concept that is framed and aligned to the education definition that view these as schools that promote and support academic excellence, thus enabling quality education for the previously disadvantaged communities.
“Local communities are our valued partners for the success of the education eco-system. We would like to appeal to community members to serve as the first of line of defense of the infrastructure and ICT tools that we have deployed at the Sthandokuhle Pre-School and Hlahlindlela High School. These are your facilities - not just Vodacom facilities or Vodacom supported facilities. The infrastructure that we installed in both schools is designed to transform and shape the lives of the young people from this community, so they can play a meaningful role in nation building,” concluded Netshitenzhe.
From L-R: Matimba Mbungela (Chief Human Resources Officer for Vodacom Group), Ms Lindiwe Zulu (Minister of Social Development), Rudi Matjokana (Managing Executive for Public Enterprise Business at Vodacom) and Sello Hatang (CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation)