An estimated five million children across Africa are expected to benefit from the Vodafone Foundation’s free education program. This will be achieved through Vodafone’s Instant Schools project. The programme is an online educational program developed in conjunction with Learning Equality, a not-for-profit provider of open source education, which offers children and young people access to global and local educational resources from primary to high school level, at no cost to Vodafone users. The project intends to ameliorate the problem of inadequate educational resources and access to these resources across Africa.
The Instant Schools project has already been rolled out in some selected countries across Africa, including Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and DR Congo, and is expected to be scaled up to other countries. In Ghana, D & D Academy, Kumasi, was one of the first schools to benefit from the Instant Schools project and it is already having an impact. Vodacom e-school, a similar Vodafone Foundation Initiative in South Africa, is already benefiting over 200 000 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 to 10 million boys. Nine million of these girls live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Vodafone believes its Instant Schools For Africa programme could benefit more than 50 million children across Africa, India and Egypt by 2025.
WRITER: FERDINAND SENAM HASSAN