Vodacom competition equips schools

Lesotho Times
4 Min Read
Vodacom Lesotho Corporate Affairs Manager Mpho Brown


VCL Communication and Foundation Manager Mpho Brown
VCL Communication and Foundation Manager Mpho Brown

Rethabile Pitso

AS part of its commitment to providing technology and internet connectivity to communities, Vodacom Lesotho (VCL) is holding a competition in which schools stand to win a state-of-the-art computer laboratory and other prizes for collecting fees through its money transfer service M-Pesa.

According to VCL Communication and Foundation Manager, Mpho Brown, the competition was launched on 1 July 2016 and will run until 5 March 2017. He said the school with the highest proportion of fees paid through M-Pesa would win a computer lab consisting of an 8×3 metre square branded VCL container, nine computers with Windows and Office software, Wimax internet for three months, a generator as well as desks and chairs.

M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer and micro-financing service for VCL customers.

Mr Brown said the telecommunications giant would also bestow prizes on schools with the highest number of monthly transactions. The prizes include eight months’ worth of internet connectivity and eight monthly prizes ranging from smart phones to hundreds of maloti worth of airtime to parents who would have made M-Pesa fee payments.

He said the competition had been met with enthusiasm from schools and parents alike.

“We launched the competition on 1 July, and the uptake has been a lot more than we expected. Principals, teachers and parents all see the huge potential benefits of having a state-of-the-art computer lab installed at their children’s schools, and so we are getting a very positive response,” Mr Brown said.

“We believe that technology can help schools and students exponentially improve learning outcomes. Our aim is to eventually see every parent with a school-going child being able to pay for their child’s fees using our safe and convenient M-Pesa platform. We also want to give the schools a chance to have a fully-fitted computer lab.”

He said M-Pesa was not only a convenient way of paying school fees, but also a safe option.

“Each school’s merchant account will be managed by the school’s accounting team the same way they are responsible for all the finances of the schools,” said Mr Brown.

“The fact that the payment comes into the account via M-Pesa means there is no cash floating around in the school’s accounts office or principal’s office. So there is an added safety advantage there.”

He added: “All schools that will be paying fees using M-Pesa will be signed up as M-Pesa merchants; which means they will have an account specifically used to pay school fees. During the payment process, the parent or guardian processing the payment via M-Pesa will need to enter a reference for the payment in which they will enter the child’s full names so it is clear who the payment is for.”

Mr Brown said schools with at least 30 percent of school fees transactions had a chance to win the competition.

“We are interested in the percentage of students using M-Pesa to pay for fees. For a school to qualify for the competition, they should have at least 30 percent of their students paying fees via M-Pesa, and the higher the percentage, the higher their chances of winning,” he said.


Share this Article
Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls Telephone: +266 2231 5356
Leave a comment