Plea to protect infrastructure as Atteridgeville school receives new computer lab
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Pretoria - Education stakeholders have pleaded for more police visibility and security officers on the ground to protect ICT infrastructure in schools.
The request was made at the launch of the Patogeng Primary School computer lab in Atteridgeville yesterday. In attendance were Tshwane mayor Randall Williams as well as MMC for Human Capital Management and Shared Services Sylvester Phokoje.
The school received 20 computers with access to wi-fi as part of the City’s Group Shared Services Department social investment initiative to bring much-needed technological enhancement to disadvantaged schools.
Williams said such an investment was important, as the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed the need for access to computers and the internet, with children being hard hit when they were at home for many months without proper education due to the lockdown.
He said due to the intermittent breaks experienced in the schooling calendar, work needed to be done to invest in and uplift Tshwane schools with the right technologies.
“It’s important that we invest in the digital upskilling of learners at a young age, so they can learn future skills that will meet the needs of society and labour markets.
“We need to see these young learners develop their own South African Facebook and Twitter, but to do that they need access to resources.”
Notwithstanding the celebrations, concerns were raised regarding the safety of the technological equipment from criminals.
Head of the e-Learning unit for the Tshwane South District, Shadi Mathosa, pleaded with the City to ensure that there was police visibility around schools as they had often been targeted by criminals once such infrastructure had been installed at various schools across the city.
“I have witnessed in quite a few schools where the very members of the community break into the schools, vandalise and steal the smart boards we bring to these schools as soon as they’re made available.
“People destroy the very assets the department is making available to advance learners’ teaching and learning.
“I would like to appeal to the City council to say much as we appreciate the donation, we would like to request you go further and ask that you
make plans to think about how to support Tshwane schools in terms of providing security for our schools and to protect this much-needed ICT infrastructure.”
Mathosa said security could also help keep learners safe as the district had received reports of learners being targeted by criminals for the mobile devices given to them to use at home.