Thousands of pupils will benefit from a R250 000 computer lab donated to their school through a partnership with Community Chest of the Western Cape yesterday.
Community Chest spokesperson Eltena Rethman said Kwabhekilanga Senior Secondary School in Alexandra, Gauteng, was identified by one of their partnering organisations with the aim to build an interest in mathematics.
"They support school-going children and create pathways in mathematics using a unique blend of tutoring and technology. Children spend a huge amount of time on technology; we are hoping that this programme will cultivate a culture of academic learning, specifically maths and numbers, fused with their love for technology and the digital world," Rethman said.
The school is situated in one of South Africa’s impoverished and gang-infested communities, faced with many socio-economic challenges such as lack of resources, limited access to opportunities, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy, among others.
School co-ordinator Siphuxolo Sijula said the new, fully equipped computer lab would benefit 2 359 pupils at school. He said teaching and learning would improve.
"We are excited for our new lab. It is a great motivation for everyone at the school, especially the learners. Our lab had 38 old desktop computers, accommodating only a few at a time and it didn't offer much. Now we have a projector and advanced software to help our learners explore the digital world for the betterment of their education. We are truly grateful to have been chosen as the recipients."
Grade 10 pupil Knowledge Shibane, 16, added that pupils were looking forward to use the lab for important stuff such as researches and academic related applications and reduce technology illiteracy.
"There are learners who can only access computers or internet at school and this will improve their experience and advance their knowledge of digital world. I just love new software, it faster than our previous one," said Shibane.
Community Chest partnered with OPPO in providing the lab, and OPPO head of marketing Avashnee Moodley said: “Education is a critical part of the success of South Africa, and we recognise the need to create access and opportunities to better levels of learning.
“With this partnership, we are committed to creating opportunities that connect young people to resources, support and infrastructure that makes learning more effective for the future.”
The OPPO team not only set up the lab, but also painted the classroom and built a book library corner, which was a massive gain for the school.