Amdocs, Telkom Foundation give three schools a digital boost
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Software and services provider Amdocs in collaboration with the Telkom foundation have announced that three schools will receive internet data, tablets, food parcels, and other Covid-19 relief items.
The schools are Khwezi Lomso Comprehensive School and Ndzondelelo High School in Gqeberha, and Le Reng Secondary School in Ladybrand.
The companies said the initiative aims to encourage learners to keep up with their schooling in the current difficult circumstances.
Amdocs South Africa chief Pikie Monaheng said that while some children were able to forge ahead with a combination of online and in-person classes, those in disadvantaged rural and urban communities did not have the necessary access to internet connectivity, internet-enabled devices, or digital literacy to stay abreast of their school work.
“This disparity in digital inclusion prompted Amdocs to partner with Telkom Foundation to provide connectivity, devices, and skills to learners in two local communities," he said.
Monaheng said the initiative came at a time when things were tougher for many South Africans.
“We wanted to promote digital inclusion because we believe remote or hybrid learning will continue for some time – in some instances becoming the norm – and we want to be part of efforts aimed at giving children and schools the tools they need to continue without interruption,” he said.
Amdoc said that in addition to promoting digital inclusion measures, it will provide humanitarian help to hard-hit communities in the form of food and other basic supplies, as well as paying school fees for some of the children who cannot afford to do so.
Amdocs vice-president for Africa, George Fraser, said the initiative forms part of Amdocs’ global efforts to support the communities it operates in. “We have also instituted various programmes in Kenya, India, Mexico and Israel, and are looking to extend our efforts further afield in Africa and other continents.”
Telkom Foundation will, in turn, partner with two other foundations – Zifundiseni ICT Foundation and Thlali Nthlajana Foundation – to ensure the assistance gets to the identified schools and learners.
Telkom Foundation CIS specialist Puso Waga Monese said that while Covid-19 may not have the same health implications for children as it does on adults, it causes other untold damage.
“Not only do they have to deal with interrupted schooling and related activities, the socio-economic impact of the pandemic – in the form of their parents getting sick or losing their jobs – can entrench poverty and lead to mental health and other issues,” he said.