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GovChat platform evaluates schools’ COVID-19 readiness

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GovChat founder and CEO Eldrid Jordaan.
GovChat founder and CEO Eldrid Jordaan.

Starting today, GovChat is making it possible for South Africans to rate schools’ state of preparedness through a polling feature available on the citizen engagement platform.

This comes as more learners return to school today, following months of being at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to GovChat, the poll is made possible in partnership with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), adding that it comes at a time when real-time insight is required.

Parents, pupils, teachers or community members can use their mobile devices to provide a first-hand experience of their schools’ COVID-19 safety and readiness to resume contact learning.

In addition, the poll will pay special attention to the inclusion of children with disabilities, says GovChat, noting it will seek to understand the level of preparedness of mainstream, special and full-service schools to provide a safe environment, and reasonably accommodate children with disabilities.

Founder and CEO Eldrid Jordaan states: “The partnership with the SAHRC is important to us. It provides an opportunity for us all to understand what the lived experiences are from a school readiness point of view. Data-driven decision-making is what will help us curb the COVID-19 spread.

“GovChat has noticed that 28% of the service delivery requests during the COVID-19 period have been in relation to water disruption and water access – a critical component to fighting the spread of the virus is access to clean water. Understanding these challenges and the areas requiring rapid improvement is only possible through real-time data that citizens generate. We’re just trying to do our part.”

GovChat is the official communications platform for government. It is accessible via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS and USSD channels, with four million monthly active users.

The poll is available via a WhatsApp number on 082 046 8553 and on Facebook Messenger by adding GovChat and prompt “help” to get started.

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