Cape Town-based tech entrepreneur Salah ElBaba today announced the launch of their new online school calendar service: EduCals.
EduCals allows parents to see a school’s calendar on their phone or PC, updated in real time. Parents can also synchronise this calendar with their phone or computer using Google Calendar, iCalendar (Apple), Outlook or any other calendar service around. Schools can add events like exams, tests, assignments, and homework or sports days into the calendar allowing parents to stay up-to-date with the latest developments pertaining to their children.
“As a father of three I saw how much my wife battled with coordinating our diary with that of each child’s school curriculum, which led me to the idea of EduCals,” says Salah ElBaba, founder and MD of EduCals by SMSWEB.
SMSWEB is the highly successful school communication system that Salah and partners developed in 2004. “This year alone we will send out over 19 million SMS’s and reach over a million parents,” says Salah. Parents receive messages from the school via SMS, email, social media, Skype, BBM, Mxit or WeChat telling them about key events or important information pertaining to their child.
“The logical next step in the evolution of our vision for improving school communication was for us to create an online calendar service that allows schools to better communicate with parents about exams, tests, assignments and events,” says Salah. “SMSWEB only costs R200 a month plus the cost of the SMS’s and we throw in EduCals for free for all our partner schools.”
EduCals integrates seamlessly with SMSWEB, giving schools a powerful way to reach out to parents and keep them in the loop regarding important events. It also reduces the amount of admin that goes into running a school, making it quicker, easier and cheaper for schools to communicate with parents.
Our schools have told us “Pass rates will improve if Parents know about their child’s exams or tests; as parents will help their child revise or in some cases make them revise.“ Says Salah.
“Studies show that parental involvement greatly improves pass rates http://www.adi.org/journal/fw04%5CSheldon%20&%20Epstein.pdf) and with EduCals we’re going to take education in South Africa to the next level,” says Salah.
“Eventually calendar reminders will also contain digital content that is aligned with the curriculum so parents will be able to open the course content and review the work with the child. It will also contain videos to online training resources like Khan Academy so parents will be able to actively participate and direct their child’s education without relying entirely on teachers to do so.”
South Africa has hundreds of thousands of children whose parents are not actively involved in their schooling. EduCals aims to change this by keeping parents informed, in real-time, of all matters pertaining to their child’s scholastic responsibilities so that parents can ensure their children are revising, studying and/or meeting deadlines.
This can only improve the career prospects of the youth of South Africa.
To connect with Salah ElBaba at SMSWEB or EduCals go to:
Call (021) 910 4347 or 0861 767 932
SMSWeb´s official site
EduCals’s official site
The company has started a campaign to get free wide-format inkjet cartridges out in the UK, which they have done before in the USA.
My Print Resource reports that specialist ink manufacturer Nazdar has now started a free ink cartridge campaign across the UK. The offer only applies to OEM customers that are currently using Roland and Mimaki wide-format printer cartridge inks.
Nazdar has “full confidence” in its ink solutions and “fully backs” it assertions regarding the performance of the ink. With “many happy customers” worldwide, the company has repeatedly demonstrated how its inks can “benefit” print houses and “increase their profits” without compromising “quality of output”.
As well as the USA, Nazdar inks are also manufactured in the UK, so logistically the campaign can have an “efficient” start.
On the launch of the campaign in the UK, Martin Burns, Digital Market Segment Manager at Nazdar, commented: “As a manufacturer of quality, premium ink jet inks, it’s not often we offer them for free!
“However, we recognize that the switch from OEM to alternative inks can be daunting for some and we wanted to encourage those potential users to take the first step. Simply put, we want to offer current OEM ink users the chance to trial our inks and substantiate our claims without incurring any cost whatsoever.”
He added: “We are confident that Nazdar inks will exceed user expectations. Being an established manufacturer of inks for both end users and printer manufacturers, we are able to offer proven ink solutions, backed up by professional service and support delivered via our comprehensive dealer network.”
Full details of the offer can be found at: http://www.nazdar.com/freecartridge.asp.
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The letters are coming home from schools that weigh students as classes begin and then calculate their body mass index.
If the index is above the recommended level, a note goes home to the parents warning them that their children are considered at risk for obesity issues.
Hope Green has two children in school, she told ABC News “the last thing they need is the school to now step in. You’re too skinny, you’re too fat,” she said.
Currently 20 states from Arkansas to California to Illinois take part in the program by sending sealed letters home to parents.
Doctors argue that BMI is the best indicator of a child’s current health based on his/her height, weight and overall body structure.
But parents are afraid the letters will put more pressure on kids, many of which are already preoccupied with their body image.
Statistics say 40% of nine to ten year old girls have already been on a diet, something medical professionals say is unhealthy.
Reports say the children began calling the notes “fat letters” themselves and they have gone out to kids as young as six.
Doctors admit boys have eating disorders but the biggest concern comes from the parents of girls.
Shannon Park has two daughters and she is dead set against the measurements.
“Their bodies are changing and then they get this number that says, ‘Oh, you know, you’re not the right number.” She finished by saying It’s just a horrible way to start womanhood.”
What do you think? Should schools do BMI measurements on the kids and send them home?
By Rick Couri
– See more at: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/schools-sending-fat-letters-home-parents-bigger-ki/nZqC5/#sthash.BFP0S5yk.dpuf
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New York – United States technology giant Cisco said on Wednesday that it would be forced to cut around 4 000 jobs. The company, which has a huge global presence, said the cuts need to be made because of the slower than expected economic recovery and disappointing conditions in emerging markets.
Chief executive John Chambers (featured in image) reportedly told analysts that while the market in the US is getting better, this is offset by the situation in the emerging markets. He said the company has to respond quickly to rebalance its staff to match growth.
He did however add that some of the retrenched workers will be rehired in other posts.
“I have learned in this industry you lead with your mind, not with your heart,” Chambers was quoted as saying.
Wednesday’s announcement makes this year the 3rd consecutive year that the company has downsized.
Image Source: Wikimedia COmmons
Posted by: Natalie Simon August 15, 2013
Johannesburg – Nigeria is fast catching up to South Africa as the most attractive investment destination in Africa, according to a report by Rand Merchant Bank’s “Where to Invest In Africa” guide. According to report South Africa remains number one on the continent, but is 33rd in the overall world rankings and ranked second last, before Russia, among the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations.
Nigeria climbed up from third place in Africa, overtaking Egypt and ranks at number 38 globally. The west African state has climbed 35 places in the past decade on global rankings.
According to the report Nigeria could possibly replace South Africa as top of the investment list in Africa within the next 5 years if the South African economy continues to stagnate. Nigeria’s growth rate forecast stands at 6% to 7% a year for the next 5 years, while South Africa’s is a measly 2% to 3%. Nigeria is also helped by its 162.5 million population, which is triple that of South Africa’s.
This comes after South Africa fell one place from 52nd to 53rd out of 148 on the WEF global competitiveness list, as Mauritius jumped ahead by one.
Labour discord, a failing education system and poor healthcare were all cited for South Africa’s lower ranking.
Source: www.sabreakingnews.co.za Posted by: Staff Reporter Posted date: September 10, 2013
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, Lagos Island
JOHANNESBURG – According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ fourth annual South African Entertainment and Media Outlook report, these industry are estimated to grow by 10.9% over the next five years, which means it’ll generate R175bn in 2017.
“The South African market bucks the trend seen in other nations; its revenues are increasing even while the market evolves to digitised formats,” the report explains. “In contrast, newspapers in the UK and the US are struggling to devise sustainable long-term business models.”
The survey paints a newspaper industry that is “buoyant and diverse”, it forecasts that advertising revenue with grow by 6.2% from R7.5bn to R10.1bn. In contrast, online advertising is expected to grow by 27% a year, which is only worth R506m – only 5% of newspaper revenue.
Digital circulation revenues are expected to grow from R13mil to R215mil by 2017, but contrary to other countries with the same broadband, South Africans still prefer print over digital news content. Readership remains constant with 31% of the adult population read a daily newspaper.
Vicky Myburgh, PwC’s entertainment and media industries leader for South Africa, told the Business Times, that while most of the growth would be from digital technology, the traditional non-digital media would still dominate the industry over the next five years.
Myburgh continues, that in South Africa books were struggling, as they were “largely unaffordable”. Yet magazines and newspapers will continue to grow, because of price and diversity in languages.
Source: www.sabreakingnews.co.za – Posted by: Kyle Stevenson Posted date: September 25, 2013
The full report here
photo Courtesy: photopin.com
Deon Terblanche of Mikro Stationery has reported that the cc has become insolvent. Their Telkom land line is now out of service. Should any business need assistance with legalities, please contact Philip Smit on 011 6466120.