Anyone who has ever spent time in a classroom knows that silence can be a rare thing.
But you could hear a pin drop when football star and Instant Network Schools (INS) Ambassador, Mohamed Salah, paid a surprise virtual visit to the children of Al Farooq Omar school in Cairo.
The students in the INS classroom were blown away as the screen turned on and Mohamed Salah appeared. Laughs, cries and giggles then filled the room as he called out the names of each of the students and interacted with them individually. The students, some were refugees and others Egyptian, asked the footballer about his childhood and his career.
A young boy named Abdelrahman took his chance to ask the footballer a question about his future: “Where do you want to go after Liverpool?”, the question was met with a bright smile by Salah, who in turn asked if the student happened to be a journalist.
The Premier League's leading African goal-scorer emphasised the importance of education, saying: “I’m always a supporter of a proper education that benefits anyone and everyone that can benefit from new information. It’s a fantastic idea. We need to be proud of something like this.”
INS, a programme by Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, transforms existing classrooms into multimedia hubs for learning, complete with internet connectivity, sustainable solar power and a robust teacher training programme. The content is localised and aligned to national curriculums, which supports disadvantaged learners to study core subjects in the classroom and increases access to opportunities. The programme supports over 129,000 refugee students and learners from local communities in five African countries.
This is just one of the ways Vodafone is working to help people overcome barriers to learning, such as a lack of internet connectivity or mobile devices. In the last year, we enabled free access to digital education for 5.2 million students and donated more than 18,000 devices for education.
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