Olwandle High School in Port Shepstone gets a new computer lab
November 29, 2022
KwaZulu-Natal: CTRL + ALT + DELETE and Copy & Paste are some of the phrases that will now feature in the vocabulary of learners from Olwandle High School following the establishment of the school’s first-ever computer lab.
On 26 November 2022, a handover ceremony was held to officially open the Lab and mark this milestone for the school as their teaching and learning experience just got an update to align with the digital age. The Lab was set up as part of a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) South Africa, Al Baraka Bank, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and AdNotes.
In efforts to bridge the digital divide in Africa, UNDP has been delivering low-cost internet to rural communities across South Africa in its initiative with the CSIR “Rural Television White Space (TVWS) Network Operator Support Programme across South Africa”. KwaGamalakhe, a township in Port Shepstone, is one of the beneficiary communities that received public WiFi hotspots using the TVWS technology to connect the community. The Olwande High School Computer Lab will directly source internet connection from the TVWS network.
To leverage this initiative and complement the work, Al Baraka Bank supported the establishment of the computer lab to benefit Olwandle High School by providing R398 902 for ICT hardware, inclusive of desktop computers, laptops, a printer and a projector, as well as software requirements.
“The world is riding the crest of the technological wave, making digital expertise an imperative for 21st-century learners in South Africa. Sadly, however, many of the country’s, especially, rural schools are exceptionally under-resourced and are unable to provide the necessary learning for the digital age. Al Baraka Bank recognises the need to actively prepare our rural youth for life in an increasingly technologically-aware society and is intent on making a contribution towards positive change in this regard,” Al Baraka Bank’s Regulatory Executive, Mr Ebrahim Hassan.
Al Baraka Bank and UNDP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in October 2021, underpinned by the pursuit to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 4 (Quality Education), Goal 8 (Inclusive Growth), and Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities). Through the MoU, UNDP and Al Baraka have committed to working towards enhancing access to basic services and economic opportunities for the rural communities, particularly youth, women, and people living with disabilities.
This initiative is an extension of UNDP’s ongoing efforts aimed at advancing ICT for development by providing affordable broadband internet connectivity to under-serviced remote communities. Since 2020, more than 100 public WiFi hotspots have been erected in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern and Western Cape, and Free State.
“UNDP promotes inclusive and gender-sensitive approaches that leave no one behind. Working with partners, such as Al Baraka Bank and the CSIR, we advocate for digital transformation that is intentionally inclusive and thoughtfully designed and implemented, to ensure that people are at the centre of development,” UNDP Programme Manager for Inclusive Growth, Ms Phumla Hlati.
“As a transformative enabler for youth development and empowerment, we are looking at the youth of Olwandle High School being technologically savvy and digitally literate. No child in this school should reach tertiary education without being competent in navigating all that a computer has to offer,” she added.
The principal of Olwandle High School Mr. Lucky Mantsho said that creating hope and meaningful opportunity for young people is a crucial concern of Olwandle high school. It is an issue to which all responsible citizens need to give serious and sustained attention as a community.
“This investment serves as a true demonstration of community spirit, private-sector confidence, and interest in the well-being of our public schools. No investment in the future of our country can equal or better investment of this nature in education. I must commend the teachers, the school governing body and all stakeholders for the spirit of good public-private partnership that has made this laboratory a reality. It is important and urgent that we all stakeholders join hands in providing infrastructure for skills development for young people”, noted Principal Mantsho.
For media enquiries contact:
Ntokozo Mahlangu, UNDP Communications Analyst
Tel: +27 12 354 8031
Mobile: +27 60 533 6760
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