Vodafone has announced that an estimated five million children are expected to benefit from Vodafone’s Instant Schools project – an online educational platform which addresses the perennial problem of inadequate teaching materials, textbooks and other assessment information in many schools in Africa.
Vodafone, through its Group Foundation, announced today that the project, launched earlier this year, is currently active in five countries in the sub-region including Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and DR Congo and is already making an impact. Developed in conjunction with Learning Equality * – a not-for-profit provider of open-source education, – Instant Schools offers global and local educational resources including subjects such as Maths and Science, providing millions of children and young people with access to education materials – from primary through to advanced high school level at no charge to Vodafone users.
A similar Vodafone Foundation initiative in South Africa – Vodacom e-School – is already benefiting 215,000 children.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rate of primary school enrolment globally, with 34 million of the 57 million out-of-school primary age children living in the region. Cultural norms and remote communities have resulted in out-of-school rates for primary and secondary school being significantly higher for girls in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to UNESCO UIS, 15 million girls of primary school age will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared with 10 million boys. Nine million of these girls live in sub-Saharan Africa. In this region, the under-five mortality rate is nearly twice as high for mothers with no education as for those who have completed secondary school.
The announcement comes as the Vodafone Foundation has published its Connected Education report , which found that the online educational resources made available through the Instant Schools For Africa programme could benefit more than 50 million children across Africa, India and Egypt by 2025, as the Vodafone Foundation increases its focus on these activities.
Vodafone Foundation Director Andrew Dunnett, said: “From refugee camps to remote parts of Africa with few schools, connectivity gives children the opportunity for a better future. Instant Schools For Africa has the potential to transform the lives of millions of children excluded from education, giving them free access to the same materials used by children in developed markets to help them achieve their ambitions.”