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Vodacom to roll out new GDE app

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Vodacom and the Gauteng Department of Education have renewed their commitment to a seven year partnership which will see a revamped and feature rich mobile app for Gauteng schools rolled out across the province this month to assist school principals in improving school management in Gauteng.

Over the course the seven year partnership, more than 2 000 principals have used the app, which has enabled them to better leverage technology for effective school management.

The ongoing engagement between GDE and Vodacom has ensured that the app, originally deployed in Gauteng schools in 2009, has remained relevant and up to date.

Vodacom and GDE’s collaborative efforts have seen the development of a new and improved app that takes into account the demands of managing schools in 2017.

Vodacom Business chief officer Vuyani Jarana last week handed over 2 200 GDE app-enabled Samsung cellphones and tablets to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

These devices will be delivered to 2 200 schools across the province, where they will be used as a platform that will assist school principals and administrators to collaborate and better manage their schools. School principals will receive training on the devices and how to use the updated reporting app.

The original app developed by Vodacom for the GDE provided the department with a reporting tool to deliver fast, accurate and reliable reporting across its entire estate, consisting of 15 district offices, 2 200 public schools and 2-million students. As a result, the department has been able to significantly improve its management of each individual school as well as the broader estate.

Through its ongoing collaboration with GDE, Vodacom has continued to improve the app to act as a scalable platform to support schools in the province. Additional features include tracking learner and teacher attendance, school feeding received (based on the Department of Basic Education’s monitoring of the National School Nutrition Program), incident reporting where departmental assistance is needed, school and principle profiles, a messaging system for the department to communicate with each school, email notifications to encourage use of the app and finally a web reporting interface which is available for GDE management so that they can view school data.

Lesufi comments: “Our improved mobile application will allow the Gauteng Department of Education to better manage its entire education estate. Through receiving accurate and regular data from schools using the devices, we can allocate our resources more effectively as well as respond quickly to any potential issues.

“Going forward, we believe that technology such as this will play an increasingly important role in helping government to address various educational challenges in South Africa.”

Vodacom’s Jarana says: “At Vodacom we have always believe in the centrality of ICT in general and mobile in particular, in the transformation of education in this country to improve education outcomes.

“Our partnership with GDE is a clear illustration of how public and private sector can collaborate and  commit time, effort and resources to deliver mass social progress .In our partnership with GDE we continue to challenge each other to be innovative in order to deliver a bigger impact in the shortest possible time period.”