More sun power for rural schools

2011-08-04 00:00

MORE than 1 200 schools in KwaZulu-Natal schools that have no electricity — most of them in rural areas — will also benefit from the latest technology with the continuation of the KZN Department of Education and the private company Datacentrix “solar panel rollout project”. The project saw 500 schools similarly equipped in 2008 and aims to bring the sun’s power to rural schools by 2013.

Yesterday’s project announcement in Pietermaritzburg also saw teachers from Amajuba, uMkhanyakude and Umzinyathi districts receiving laptops and printers — together with solar panels and the necessary inverters to store the sun’s power — at their schools.

The teachers from the schools, many of whom had not used a computer before, also received training on how to use the solar-powered equipment and systems for the benefit of their schools.

Well over a thousand schools in KwaZulu-Natal do not have electricity because Eskom’s grid does not extend to their areas, which means all their administration is done manually.

KZN Department of Education’s head of department Nkosinathi Sishi said the launch of this project showed that, despite difficulties experienced by some of its schools, the department is determined to ensure that those schools were not left out when it came to technological development.

The teachers could not hide their excitement during their introduction to the computers, saying that this project will contribute to making their work much easier.

Amanda Ngcobo, part of the Datacentrix team, said the solar panel rollout project was now being rolled out across SA.

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