KZN school gets computer lab

Minister Blade Nzimande (right) with SAB Executive Director Corporate Affairs, Monwabisa Fandeso

A fully-equipped computer laboratory has been opened at Nyonithwele Secondary School in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, in a public-private venture between the Departments of Education and Public Works and the South African Breweries (SAB).

The project, initiated by Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande with the assistance of SAB, is a purpose-built IT Laboratory constructed for the school to benefit the school’s 1082 Grade 10 to 12 learners, more than 40 teaching staff, as well as community members.

The fully-furnished laboratory is complete with 60 computers, air-conditioners, cabling, printers and a year’s pre-paid internet subscription. The KZN Department of Education’s IT Division has undertaken to provide on-going technical support to the school.

The National Survey of Information Communication Technology in South African schools conducted by the Education Policy Unit of the University of the Western Cape, which began in 1998, found that despite extreme variations, schools in provinces of Gauteng and the Western Cape on average have a better ICT infrastructure compared to schools in other parts of the country.

“This is the anomaly that we must address working together with various stakeholders with the interest of the African child in mind, especially those from the working class and poor,” says Dr Nzimande.

The computer laboratory at Nyonithwele Secondary will help to increase access to internet connectivity and empower the community through information access.

“Edendale is largely a poor community with schools mainly being under the category of no-fee schools. There is no doubt that this state of the art computer laboratory will be a great leveller in the information services to learners and by extension to community.

“Access to information highway in today’s world is a gateway to becoming anything the youth may want to pursue. So I have no doubt that the youth of Edendale will be greatly empowered and inspire them to pursue bright future,” says Dr Nzimande.

Dr Nzimande praised SAB for its involvement in the initiative, saying he was pleased that the country’s business community was taking a lead in developing future leaders, the youth and ensuring that young people acquire high level training and qualifications in order to support the broad objective of a skilled and capable workforce for an inclusive economic growth. “This move is in keeping with the spirit of the National Development Plan, which identified that South Africa has the means, the goodwill, the people and the resources to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality.”

SAB has for decades played a key role in the socio-economic upliftment of communities.

“Due to the vast extent of our operations and as a function of our size, SAB is a creator of employment, a source of taxes and a dependable contributor to the country’s GDP. It is thus the company’s duty to make a meaningful contribution to society and ensure that we remain a responsible corporate citizen,” said SAB Executive Director Corporate Affairs, Monwabisi Fandeso.

“We are honoured to be able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Nyonithwele Secondary School pupils and the community of Edendale with this world-class computer facility and we hope that the technology will enhance and inspire their lives.”

The KZN Department of Education’s IT Division has undertaken to provide on-going technical support to the school’s 1082 pupils and 35 staff.

“SAB has brewed beer in South Africa for more than 100 years; our roots are firmly placed in the soil and people of the country. We don’t just see South Africa as a market, it is our home and with this project we are putting our money where our mouth is and ensuring we look after the country’s next generation of leaders,” concluded Fandeso.

Shirley Williams

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