Johannesburg, Midrand – In order to help advance literacy development, one of the most critical elements in the country’s education value chain, Vodacom and Huawei together with the Department of Basic Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation launched their e-Libraries programme today.
The e-Libraries programme is an educational content application, which is freely available on Huawei tablets at the 61 Vodacom Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resource centres situated across the country.
The 400 Huawei sponsored tablets have been loaded with an exciting collection of e-book content and include a variety of genres including: African literature, history, business/entrepreneurship and fiction. The exciting collection, which is available in all eleven official languages is made accessible by publishing partners Via Afrika, Oxford University Press, Shuter & Shooter, FunDza and is complemented with content from the Department of Basic Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Vodacom Group Chief Executive Office, Shameel Joosub says: “Our aim is to use our technology to help make a difference in the communities where our customers live. Through this initiative, Vodacom seeks to enable learners and community members to read e-books at the centres for free”.
Joosub adds that, “access to reading material is a major challenge in South Africa. As many learners do not have access to libraries and reading material, Vodacom together with its partners believe that we can help address this challenge by broadening access to literacy in this way.”
Huawei Vice President of East and Southern Africa Region, You Jiangtao says: “Huawei has been continuously partnering with Vodacom to provide ubiquitous telecom network services to build a better connected world. We share much appreciation to our valued partners for the collaborated efforts to improve educational platforms in South Africa. At Huawei we strive to bridge the digital divide and hope the beneficiaries will capitalise on this opportunity.”
Nelson Mandela Foundation, Chief Executive Officer, Sello Hatang says that Madiba once appropriately said: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Hatang says: “Nelson Mandela’s legacy has created the opportunity for us to achieve a bright future.”
The initiative forms part of Vodacom’s broader teacher development initiative, the Vodacom Mobile Education Programme . The programme has seven components – the Vodacom Mobile Education ICT Resource Centres, the web-based Vodacom Digital Classroom education portal, the Vodacom Mobile Education Virtual Private Network, the Vodacom Mobile Education Training Programme, Vodacom e-school and Vodacom Millionaires.