Arthur Blaxall School claims victory

2015-04-29 09:23

THE Arthur Blaxall School for the blind recently claimed top spot during a technology- driven schools competition which was hosted by the Department of Small Business Development and Saab Grintek Defence.

This was the Department of Small Business Development’s Techno-Girl programme and was run as part of its Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) initiative.

The winning team of 10 pupils from Arthur Blaxall School presented a revolutionary coffee machine idea that uses handprint-memory technology to provide the user with custom-made coffee.

Arthur Blaxall School’s team was the first team of pupils living with disabilities to enter the competition.

The pupils won a printer and computer for their school, three laptops, smart phones and lunch with the Deputy Minister of Small Business, Elizabeth Thabethe.

The two top pupils from the Arthur Blaxall School, Snentokozo Ngcobo and Samkelisiwe Mbeje will travel to Cape Town as part of Thabethe’s delegation­ for the budget speech in May. Snentokozo and Samkelisiwe will also join a delegation of entrepreneurs travelling to Brazil with the deputy minister later in the year.

Arthur Blaxall School co-ordinator Anusha Maharaj said that she was proud of the pupils.

“This is the first time we have ever entered a competition of this nature.

“We were the only school that had pupils with visual impairments.

“It took us three weeks to work on the business plan.

“The coffee machine caters for blind people because it has Braille codes,” said Maharaj.

Arthur Blaxall principal Anusuyah­ Pillay said the pupils and Maharaj showed a lot of dedication while preparing their business plan.

The pupils received tablets for participating in this three-day conference hosted by the Department of Small Business Development.

The head of transformation at Saab Grintek Defence, Charlotte Moagi, said in a statement, “Access to technology, and to the internet as a whole, is essential for any businessperson, and we wanted to make sure that these remarkable young women­ were equipped with the technology­ tools that they need to make a success of their business ideas.”

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