Vodacom has started zero-rating data used to access five South African educational websites approved by the Department of Education, according to the operator’s website.
The promotion will be available until March 2015, Vodacom said, and means that it will be possible to access the 5 sites without paying for the data used to browse them.
Wikipedia is not among the sites listed as zero-rated, despite a big push from the Wikimedia Foundation for operators to join its Wikipedia Zero initiative.
In it’s campaign, Wikimedia uses MTN as an example of an operator that’s come to the party in terms of providing school students with free access to Wikipedia.
Asked about its decision to exclude Wikipedia from the list of zero-rated sites, a Vodacom spokesperson told MyBroadband that this was the first part of a larger programme the company was putting together to support free access to educational resources.
“We are looking at the possibility of supplying free access to Wikipedia as part of that wider programme,” Vodacom said. “Our key overall concern is to provide access to resources relevant to the schools’ curriculum.”
Details of Vodacom’s larger free access to educational resources programme will be announced at a later date.
“Our overall drive in supporting education has involved equipping 40 ICT teacher training centres across the country and also equipping almost 900 schools with ICT resources,” Vodacom said.
Vodacom subscribers will be able to access the following sites for free until March 2015:
- Vodacom Foundation: www.digitalclassroom.co.za
- Mindset Learn : www.mindset.co.za/learn
- Everything Maths books: www.everythingmaths.co.za/@@textbook-catalogue
- Everything Science books: www.everythingscience.co.za/@@textbook-catalogue
- Department of Basic Education: www.education.gov.za/dobeinternet/learners/tabid/271/Default.aspx