Pupils catch digital wave

2015-08-04 06:00
Debbie Schäfer, provincial minister of education, has a look over Grade 10 pupil Riyaad Jeftha’s (15) shoulder as he surfs the internet in the new computer lab at Grassdale High School.

Chevon Booysen

Debbie Schäfer, provincial minister of education, has a look over Grade 10 pupil Riyaad Jeftha’s (15) shoulder as he surfs the internet in the new computer lab at Grassdale High School. PHOTOS: Chevon Booysen

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In a groundbreaking tech-meets-education move, Grassdale High School in Lotus River received a fully equipped computer lab on Wednesday last week.

Pupils at the school were excited to have a look at the new lab on Wednesday when the MTN SA Foundation, provincial minister of education Debbie Schäfer and premier Helen Zille joined the celebration.

This type of lab, which was sponsored by MTN, has also been rolled out to nine other schools in the city.

School principal Dawood Tregonning says he is extremely grateful for the investment at the school.

“This is definitely a life-changing experience for our school. This is a beacon of hope to each beneficiary,” he says.

He adds it’s a milestone for the school.

“It is indeed a great honour to be part of another milestone in the development of our youth as they are one step closer to that electronic classroom,” Tregonning says.

The computer lab comes with 21 compu­ters, a printer, interactive whiteboard, data projector, subsidised internet for two years and curriculum-based software.

Kusile Mthunzi-Hairwadzi, general manager of the MTN SA Foundation, says the organisation is proud to have partnered with government departments to make the computer labs a reality at ten schools.

“This is an integral part of the company’s strategy to invest and empower communities. We urge all students to use these labs for their betterment,” Mthunzi-Hairwadzi says.

She adds: “A number of schools in the Western Cape still have limited resources and a lack of basic infrastructure. We hope to address some of these challenges and take learning to the next level through the MTN SA Foundation’s school connectivity programme.”

At the unveiling Zille thanked the Foundation for “allowing pupils to catch the digital wave”.

“It is true that a digital revolution is happening. Thanks to this project our pupils can become information-literate,” Zille said.

The MTN SA Foundation has already pledged to refresh an additional five schools’ computer labs next year

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