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The use of bulk SMS's

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The use of bulk SMS's

2020/07/17 12:03 PM CAT (edited)

Dearest Community

One of our Community members, Business Leader Mel Lachenicht, reached out to ask if there are any other schools grappling with the question of how to communicate with parents during Lockdown (currently at Level 3). Given that not everyone has smartphones and that data is still an expensive commodity, Mel and principal Simon Mnisi devised a plan to make use of bulk SMS's. LPF Mariette Myburgh worked with the partners to reach out to communication service providers to get sponsorships for their efforts. The question however still remains: "What has been done by other schools in similar situations?" Your input will be greatly appreciated.

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(1 out of 1 person found this post useful.)

1. 2020/08/16 8:55 AM CAT (edited) by Moderator

Dearest Breggie,

THANK YOU for this possibility.

In terms of bulk communication.

  • None of the Midlands schools have a “system” set up to communicate with parents. It seems to be down to the “goodwill” of the teachers and effectiveness of the “grapevine”
  • Currently best scenario is Nottingham Road Primary where teachers use their private phones, private data to send WhatsApp’s to class parents
  • Bruntville primary uses their Facebook page

Nottingham Road primary has been engaging with D6 communicator.

  • Cost - R 2000 upfront and then monthly R 246 per month.
  • Emergency sms at 75c per sms. General (Push-up) sms is free.

I am awaiting the contact detail. They are not up and running yet.

So sorry that I am not more useful. What is clear to me though is that if this is something that PfP could initiate nationally (sponsorship/part sponsorship) to a sms communication platform that there would be a huge appreciative audience.

2. 2020/08/17 10:29 AM CAT

Dear Karen

Thank you for your response! This is extremely helpful. We truly appreciate the information you provided.

I shall enquire with Mel Lachenicht how their project is progressing and also give feedback here.

In terms of the (edited) by Moderator note above, I just clicked on the Tx button which clears formatting, that sorted the font sizing issue.

Thanks again!

3. 2020/08/17 3:50 PM CAT

I hear that a challenge with SMS is that in some communities, the families' contact details are constantly changing?

I know of a few schools in the Western Cape that have tried D6, however in my understanding, it requires parents to install the app so I would assume that it would require a fair deal of following-up and filling the gaps for those who don't have the app...? It would be great to hear from Nottingham Rd PS how this is working on their side.

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