Free software - all you have to do is ask

Prefix Technologies, a web development and information technology (IT) company, is offering bulk email software free of charge to any school that asks for it.

Teachers, learners and members of the public are called upon to nominate a school to benefit from pMailer, a cost-saving way of communicating with stakeholders and improving routine administration.

The package includes 6 000 free email credits per month and SMSes at a flat rate of 20c each.

The offer is part of the company’s Tech for Schools campaign, says managing director Walter Penfold. “A tool like pMailer is useful for routine communications like timetables and updates, and it can be invaluable when the school has a crisis on its hands and needs to get information out to parents quickly.

“We’re making a really effective business tool available to schools and I’m sure they will find many ways to use it.”

He said nomination can be lodged by logging onto the pMailer site or Facebook page. Once there, fill in the details of the school that you want to benefit from the initiative.

Prefix Technologies will contact the school, offer them the opportunity to sign up for the programme and then provide them with the pMailer account. Training will be provided free, Penfold said. For more information log on to or

The initiative is one of many the IT sector has made available to boost the department of basic education’s efforts to provide quality teaching by adopting cutting-edge technology. For instance, last month Vodacom, in partnership with the department of basic education, launched its “Vodacom Mobile Education Programme” to help “improve the quality of instruction at all levels, particularly in maths, maths literacy and physical science from grades 10 to 12”. The programme will be rolled out in all nine provinces.

Thabo Mohlala

Thabo Mohlala

Thabo reports for the Teacher newspaper, a Mail & Guardian monthly publication. Apart from covering education stories, he also writes across other beats. He enjoys reading and is an avid soccer and athletics fanatic. Thabo harbours a dream of writing a book. Read more from Thabo Mohlala


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