ICT access for Mpumalanga learners

Kabokweni - Learners from schools in the rural town of Kabokweni in Mpumalanga will no longer have to wait until they get to varsity to gain skills in digital media technology.

The MTN Foundation’s Schools Connectivity Programme has provided 11 multimedia centres for schools in the area, which were officially handed over on Thursday by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi as part of the Back to School campaign.

Speaking to SAnews after the official opening of the multimedia centre at Enkhokhokweni Primary School, Minister Muthambi said: “This ICT infrastructure will not only enable learners in this area to get access to information, it will enable them to get connected with the rest of the world, facilitating exposure of computer education and advanced technologies.

“Without the necessary infrastructure, schools in rural areas cannot realise the true potential of technology. We strongly believe that this new technology will improve teaching and learning.

“Through our partnership with the MTN Foundation, we took a decision to bring the ICT centres in this area because we know that schools in rural areas play an important role.

“These centres… will serve as community centres and a symbol of community pride.”

MTN SA Foundation General Manager Kusile Mthunzi-Hairwadzi said: “For us, education is a social need of our country… so this is not a donation but an investment towards the future of learners in rural areas.

“As a company, we view it important to expose learners in rural schools to ICT from an early age. These centres will enhance teaching and learning in that they are fully loaded with the basic education curriculum.

“We are certain that through our Schools Connectivity Programme, learners from rural schools will not see a computer for the first time at university or college.”

MTN can monitor from their offices if the computers are being used or not.

Mpumalanga Education MEC Reginah Mhaule said they expect to see quality results from the schools through the use of ICT.

“Internet connectivity at these schools will benefit learners to access educational information. Learners will be able to chat to teachers and each other for knowledge sharing and problem solving.”

Enkhokhokweni School principal Duduzile Madonsela said: “The multimedia centre will motivate us as teachers to work hard… Almost all the 26 educators at the school are computer literate so this centre is not going to be a white elephant.”

Other schools that also received multimedia centres are Mbuyani Secondary School, Mvangati Primary School, Edwaleni Primary School, Hlanganani Secondary School and Phaftwa High, to mention but a few.

Tomorrow, Minister Muthambi will visit Izimbali Combined School in the Gert Sibande District. - SAnews.gov.za