GABORONE, One of the biggest mobile companies in Botswana, Orange has taken an initiative to digitize school curriculum for primary level and provide the content to government school teachers.
Speaking at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Orange, Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) on Wednesday, Patrick Benon, the company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said that his company strongly believes in bridging the digital divide and leveraging on technology to improve access to education.
“At Orange, we are strong believers in bridging the digital divide and leveraging on technology to improve access to education. We believe that it is truly important to give and enable all children access to education, provide them with material and equipment that will make learning easier,” Benon said.
The MoU states that MoBE will provide the national curriculum for primary schools for content development while MLGRD will be responsible for making available the schools chosen for the programe as well as ensure the safety of the digital equipment in the schools.
The signing marked the beginning of the company’s initiative of digital schools through the Orange Foundation which involves the donation of digital technologies to schools especially primary schools in rural areas.
The first phase of the drive will be a pilot of the initiative in 5 primary schools which will each receive a digital kit comprising of 50 tablets and pouches, 2 servers, 11 multi-socket adaptors, 2 dust resistant cases with padlocks, 1 projector and 1 screen while the teachers will be trained on how to facilitate the use of the gadgets.
After the successful implementation of the pilot, which starts next month, the Foundation will roll out the digital kits to 25 more schools bringing the total number of schools to 30, which they expect to be done within the duration of 5 years.
An average of 500 students per school are expected to benefit from the program meaning that at the end of the program 15,000 students will have benefited from the program.
Collie Monkge, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Basic education said his ministry realizes that it would not manage to digitize all schools alone thus private and public partners like Orange can help them go a long way in making the technologies accessible to students.