As the country thrives to reach digital inclusion in all corners of the country, The Orange Foundation, through its mother company, Orange Botswana continues to bridge existing digital divide in remote communities by champion innovation and investment.
Orange Foundation recently made its donation of ICT equipment to Moremaoto Primary School in the North-West district.
According to Orange the equipment donated will enhance and assist learners at the primary school by giving them access to opportunities and educational enrichment available through digital technology. The donation, Orange believes will furthermore help facilitate the operations of the school, providing a much-needed enhancement to the existing ICT equipment used by the school. Speaking at the handover, Director Legal and Corporate Affairs, Lepata Mafa-Nthomola reiterated that as the Government of Botswana is committed to ensuring that all children, irrespective of race, gender, ethnic background, or economic status, have access to a high-quality education Orange Botswana also recognises the importance of education for all citizens of Botswana. “We have aligned all our efforts to promote quality education with the national Vision 2036 that emphasises digital technology education and skills as a basis for human resource development. We are furthermore determined to play our part as a responsible corporate citizen in transforming and shaping Botswana’s technological future through various initiatives that promote education,” she said. To achieve this Orange Botswana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Basic Education and Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in 2017, to kick-start a pilot of the Digital school programme in 2018. “The Digital Schools Programme addresses issues of digital inclusion and digital equality. The programme aims to close the existing gaps created by digital inclusion through leveraging technology to improve access to education. In the past, villages such as Toromoja and Xere in Boteti have been beneficiaries of this programme which has seen the donation of ICT equipment, valued at more than P100,000. Today is a particularly special occasion as the Moremaoto Primary School and the community will benefit from the same programme, receiving digital equipment worth P100,000,” Mafa-Nthomola said. To this end Orange Foundation donated 50 tablets, 2 raspberry pi web servers preloaded with content, 50 headphones, a projector and a projector screen and one laptop. According to Mafa-Nthomola about 30 100 students have benefited from the Orange Digital Schools Programme. 620 teachers have been trained in using digital kits as a mode of teaching whilst 62 schools having benefited from the project since its inception. “We anticipate 86 schools to benefit from the programme in the year 2023 alone and we are eager to keep extending the numbers to 100 by next year,” Mafa-Nthomola said. For his part, The area MP and Vice President of Botswana, Slumber Tsogwane expressed his gratitude to Orange. “We have seen the commitments and indeed impact of your strategy as a business as well as the social value and impact of the Orange Botswana Foundation through the Digital School Program, which has been rolled out to 59 primary schools to date, Moremaoto being the 60th school to benefit,” Tsogwane said. The Vice President further stated that digital inclusion and digital access will positively impact the lives of Batswana. “Today’s handover is a testament to the important contributions made by organisations such as Orange Botswana. In that regard, Botswana can consider herself fortunate to have Orange Botswana as a partner not only to the economy, but most importantly to the investment that has been made towards the people of Botswana and to advancing their prosperity,” he added. So far Orange Botswana has rolled out it's digital school intiative to 62 primary schools and aims to reach 100 by the next year