R215 000 Computer Laboratory For Under-resourced Maitland, Cape Town, School Opens Door To e-Learning For The Disadvantaged
Severely disadvantaged learners at a massively under-resourced Maitland, Cape Town, Primary school are poised to participate in the rapidly evolving electronic age following a R215 000 rejuvenation of the facility’s obsolete 10-year old Computer Laboratory.
Koeberg Primary School, located in the Cape Town suburb and serving learners from disadvantaged communities and surrounding informal settlements, is set now to introduce e-Learning, the result of a recent donation of a server, 41 mini computers and attendant software by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT).
Commenting at a function to mark the official hand-over of the school’s re-equipped Computer Laboratory, SAMCT representative, Mr Faried Boltman said: “Our reliance on technology is set to increase appreciably as we move inexorably into an ever-more digital future; a future which necessitates a change from traditional education norms. The authorities have acknowledged this, with the National Education Department promoting e-Learning as the way of the future in schools.”
The under-resourced Koeberg Primary School, which faces major funding constraints, whilst almost 50% of its 600 learners participate in a daily feeding scheme, providing both breakfast and lunch, consistently delivers excellent academic results in spite of the challenges it faces on a daily basis and is intent on becoming a school renowned for excellence.
It had an active Computer Laboratory some 10 years ago, but funding shortages and the rapid pace of technological advancements quickly rendered the available equipment redundant, until the SAMCT’s timely intervention.
“It is vital that schools be sufficiently equipped to make the necessary transition to e-Learning, lest the learners of today be left floundering in a technology-driven environment in which they can play no meaningful part,” said Mr Boltman
Technology in South African schools is already playing a critically important role in both the curriculum and school administration.
Mr Faried Boltman added: “I would venture to say that computer literacy now ranks as importantly as does maths and science in terms of its value to today’s learners. The fact that this school’s dedicated and clearly passionate staff aim to make this a school renowned for excellence, is to be applauded. The reality, however, is that without an up-to-date and effective Computer Laboratory, it is doubtful that this laudable goal would be achievable.”
A past skewed by circumstance has resulted in high levels of educational inequality across the country which, without significant investment, will be extremely difficult to redress, a situation
which almost a quarter of a century since the birth of democracy in South Africa continues to stunt the development of so many of this country’s learners.
“Without access to e-Learning in classrooms across the country, South Africa’s business sector will find that business owners and employees of the future will be unable to compete effectively in the global business environment. Koeberg Primary School’s realisation of this and its efforts to rejuvenate its Computer Laboratory are indicative of just how seriously this school takes its educational responsibilities, in spite of the seemingly insurmountable challenges it faces on a daily basis,” Mr Boltman said.
The SAMCT was created in 2008, the result of a partnership between Old Mutual Unit Trusts and Al Baraka Bank for the creation, marketing and distribution of a suite of Shariah Funds. This partnership ensures that the SAMCT is the beneficiary of this Shariah suite of funds in order to provide funding, services and other resources for the improvement of the lives of the vulnerable, deprived and disadvantaged. The organisation has been singularly successful in delivering sizeable assistance solutions throughout South Africa – irrespective of race or religion – and continues to work to support needy organisations in the fields of health, social development, poverty alleviation and education.
Mr Boltman stressed: “In view of the dire need for computers in schools, I am pleased to be able to say that the SAMCT has been delighted to contribute, albeit in a small way, towards facilitating technology development here, at Maitland’s Koeberg Primary School. It is our hope now that the 20 computers, attendant software and necessary server we have provided will assist the school in better preparing its learners for high school, as well as going some way towards the realisation of the staff’s goal of transforming Koeberg Primary School into an educational centre for excellence.”
He added that part of the organisation’s donation was to be used to train two members of the school’s staff as IT Administrators. This would equip them with the skills to further develop the newly upgraded Computer Laboratory for the benefit of present and future Koeberg Primary School learners.
For more information about SAMCT or its Koeberg Primary School, Maitland, Cape Town, donation, please contact:
Social Responsibility Officer Tel: 084 506 2280