Friday, 29 May 2020

UNICEF joins with Airtel to facilitate remote education in Africa

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Wednesday 20 May 20

The charity said that the progress in education made on the continent in the past decade is at risk of being lost during the COVID-19 pandemic

When it comes to education, Africa has greatly improved in recent years, but much remains to be done to ensure a complete education is available for all. Unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak has forced the closure of schools across the continent…

When it comes to education, Africa has greatly improved in recent years, but much remains to be done to ensure a complete education is available for all. Unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak has forced the closure of schools across the continent, leaving millions of children without access to educational materials. 

Now, UNICEF has announced a partnership with Airtel Africa to help provide that access, with Airtel zero-rating a number of websites hosting educational content. Meanwhile, UNICEF will use Airtel’s network to provide mobile money transfers to those families worst affected by the pandemics economic damage.

The mobile cash exchanges will also contribute towards reducing the amount of physical contact required during typical transactions. 

“Some effective ways to cushion families from the effects of this crisis is through providing free Internet access to selected educational websites to help children keep up with their learning during the school closures and direct cash transfer programmes to reduce physical presence requirements for cash in hand exchanges,” explained Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa’s CEO.

The scheme is expected to help many of the 113 million African school children whose education has been disrupted during the coronavirus. The 13 Sub-Saharan countries to directly benefit from the scheme are Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

 

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