The State Information Technology Agency (Sita) has sponsored an information and communication technology (ICT) laboratory at Manhlenga Junior Secondary School, in Gazini village, in the uMhlabuyalingana local municipality.
The sponsorship of a cyberlab for the rural KwaZulu-Natal school, 7 km from the Mozambique border and in one of the most remote communities, forms part of Sita’s GovTech initiative.
“Everyone should have an equal opportunity to make their mark in the world of technology – and it should not matter where they come from,” says Sita executive caretaker and accounting authority Luvuyo Keyise.
Efforts are being channelled into ensuring a conducive environment for the 303 learners, from grades 8 to 12, to engage in and learn ICT skills, and be empowered by the opportunities these will offer in the future.
Housed in a repurposed shipping container, the facility has 20 workstations with desktop computers and a local area network. The school has electricity and will soon have Internet connectivity.
The container has been fitted with vinyl flooring, a door and windows, an air conditioner, an interactive whiteboard, a data projector and desks and chairs.
The move also marked the launch of a strategic partnership between Sita and the KwaZulu-Natal government regarding the establishment of Sita’s School of Software Engineering (SOSE) in the province.
The SOSE aims to build a digital society and embrace digital inclusivity by upskilling learners with ICT skills, with a curriculum that includes digital literacy, programming principles and advanced digital literacy training.
“The SOSE is a national initiative that Sita introduced last year as a long-term sustainable investment in provincial schools. In accordance with its business development plan, Sita is implementing the SOSE one province at a time,” says Keyise.