The MTN SA Foundation continues to bring digital education closer to SA’s youth with the recent handover of a state-of-the-art multimedia centre to a deserving Bokgoni Technical High School in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. Bokgoni stood out as a truly deserving recipient after improving its matric performance from only 32% in 2016 to a 100% pass rate last year.
The handover ceremony, which had been delayed for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, took place in early November, and was attended by district director from the Department of Education in Gauteng, Ms Hilda Kekana. This initiative, in partnership with MTN, set out to encourage all no-fee paying schools and township schools in Gauteng to push for a 100% matric pass rate.
In January, the school was selected as the winner due to its remarkable turnaround achievement. It was also named as the best performing township school in Gauteng by the department.
Principal George Sono came on board to turn things around in 2016, and he is a very proud man today. Thanks to his and his team’s dedication, the pass rate improved to 67% in 2017, then 98% in 2018, and 100% last year.
“The major challenges we faced were that a lot of the learners came from informal settlements and connectivity was a major problem. So, this new multimedia centre is very helpful as learners will be able to access information as they need it. We are already seeing them pulling up past exam papers and much-needed research, so it is already improving performance,” he says.
Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, he adds that the school is on track to maintain its 100% success rate, with learners inspired to achieve quality marks so they can get into university.
The school did not have computers for learners to use before the MTN installation and Ms Kekana, in her keynote address, highlighted that thanks to this facility, the school will now be able to introduce computer applications technology (CAT) and information technology (IT) as subjects because it now has the infrastructure needed for these subjects.
This is in line with the MTN SA Foundation’s ongoing nationwide drive to increase access to information and communications technology (ICT) in education more broadly. The contribution of technical equipment and ICT support continues to build on the Foundation’s longstanding partnership with government.
“We commend Mr Sono and his school for such a wonderful achievement. These results prove how collaboration, commitment and dedication can have a powerful and lasting impact on education. As we make our way in a new digital era, we believe it is important to enable more children to access the digital world,” says Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, general manager of the MTN SA Foundation.
The total value of the investment received by Bokgoni Technical High school is R889 484,41 and includes:
• Full classroom refurbishment.
• Fully furnished 40-seater multimedia centre.
• Two interactive whiteboards with projectors.
• An instructor PC.
• Wi-Fi router and server.
• Full-colour printer.
• Offline learning content.
• 30 GB of MTN data per month for a period of 24 months.
• Two air conditioners.
The MTN SA Foundation’s aim to contribute to the national quality of teaching and learning, via its flagship Schools Connectivity Programme, continues to make its mark. In addition to the contribution of ICT equipment at rural and township schools around the country, 33 special needs schools have been connected with customised multimedia centres.
MTN has also made significant investments in the digitalisation of CAT and IT curricula. “At MTN, we believe that everyone deserves a modern, connected life. We are dedicated to continue improving access to digital opportunities for our youth across the country,” concludes Mtunzi-Hairwadzi.
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