Digital connectivity is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity as access to information has become an essential part of modern-day life. UNICEF recently reported that Connecting schools has the potential to boost GDP by up to 20 percent in the world’s least connected nations.
Sadly, many schools across South Africa struggle with the costs and infrastructure required to provide this for teachers and learners.
Now, one Internet Service Provider (ISP) is stepping up to help.
Over the past eight years, ISP Cool Ideas has been expanding its fibre and LTE networks across the country, to expedite access to digital information, through high-speed connectivity. While doing so, through their Cool Schools initiative, they have collaborated with schools across eight provinces to date, to ensure that as the network grows, so does learner access to information, with the result that education can benefit.
The project started in 2015, when the first school, Parkhurst Primary in Johannesburg, was connected on a trial basis, and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, new schools have been added every month with the result that Cool Ideas currently supplies over 300 schools with fibre access throughout the year. Additionally, the organisation has collaborated with fibre providers such as Vumatel, Evotel, Octotel and Frogfoot to ensure further support.
The Cool Schools Initiative aims to bridge the digital divide in South Africa by providing internet connectivity to underprivileged schools and schools in Cool Ideas coverage areas. Through this remarkable upliftment project, a free internet connection with speeds of up to 1 000Mbps (1Gbps) is provided to qualifying schools, enabling learners to access educational resources online. This way, the leaders of tomorrow are given the resources need to support their growth. Learn more about Cool Schools here
“The 1 Gig free fibre line provided by Cool Ideas was one of the best decisions ever made in the interest of moving the school forward. It has been a real game changer for our school community as, additional to the internet access, we could also seamlessly connect our telephone system to operate through our very fast and reliable fibre line,” said Randall Abrahams, Principal of Tamboerskloof Primary School.
“From all the stakeholders, the principal, the governing body, the staff, the learners, and the parents, we thank Cool Ideas. We are so reliant on internet access and what we are being provided benefits the teachers and learners so much” said Belinda Mlambo, educator at JC Curtis Nkondo secondary school.
“Every child in South Africa deserves the best education possible, to prepare them to live a fulfilled life and access to technology and digital connectivity is an essential part of this process,” said Duwane Peters, Marketing Manager for Cool Ideas. “While we are currently supplying over 300 schools with fibre connectivity, we are not going to stop there. As we keep expanding our network and developing our routes, we will add as many schools as we can,” he added.
To qualify for the Cool Schools program, schools need to meet specific criteria, such as being a public school in South Africa, having a minimum of 50 learners, and being situated in a Cool Ideas coverage area. Schools that meet the criteria can apply for the programme by reaching out to their local Cool Ideas school representative. To learn more, click here.
Cool Ideas recently won the award of Best Fibre ISP in South Africa for the third time. Additionally, it ranked the highest in customer satisfaction and brand loyalty among South Africa’s ISPs, according to research by Analytico. Talk about a small organisation that is achieving big things. Cool, hey?