VODAFONE PARTNERS WITH FIJIAN GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE STUDENTS FREE DATA
Tuesday 2nd November, 2021
Vodafone Fiji’s parent company Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) has partnered with the Fijian Government to provide free monthly data packages available from October 1st to over 7,000 Year 13 students nationwide.
The initiative was proposed in order to provide monthly data top-up packages to the thousands of university level and high school students around the country who’s education has been interrupted by the pandemic, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
The initiative will provide eligible students each with $20 monthly data top-ups from October 2021 through to January 2022.
The data bundles have been made available to over 7,000 year 13 high school students enrolled at 169 schools across the country since October 1, in order to allow them to access educational materials while studying remotely and to ensure fair access to learning material for all students.
2021-2022 NATIONAL BUDGET
The plan was announced by Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in a virtual parliament sitting in July while delivering the 2021-2022 National Budget.
“Over 8000 Year 13 students also need access to data to undertake research for their studies and indeed the Minister for Education and I will be talking a lot on this as to how she intends to get them graduated to qualify for the university courses,” explained the Attorney-General.
“Given that most students rely on the internet for online classes and conducting research activities, Government in partnership with Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) will provide a monthly data top-up of $20 per month to each Fijian student to assist them in their online studies.
“This will only be available during the semester and school-term periods but the data can be used however the students like,” added the Education Minister.
The minister went on to explain that the initiative was being made available to Fijian students and would not extend to foreign students enrolled at or attending Fijian universities.
OCTOBER ROLL OUT
In a statement, the Ministry of Economy said they had been working alongside the Ministry of Education to contact schools in order to obtain student information, access students’ preferred mode of data access and internet service provider details.
The first round of data top-ups have been made available to year 13 students since October 1 via their mobile phones, home internet modems or pocket WiFi.
The Ministry noted that students that do not have their own mobile phones have been able to provide a parent, family member or guardian’s phone in order to access the monthly free data package.
The Government noted that there will be no restrictions placed on the usage of the data, but are urging students and guardians to ensure that the data is used for the students’ educational purposes.
Vodafone continues to work with the Fijian Government in order to roll out a similar initiative for Fijian university students in the near future.