Telkom Connects 150 schools - ITWeb, 30 July 2010
A R30 million project to extend ICT to previously-disadvantaged schools across the Western Cape has been rolled out, connecting 150 schools to uncapped broadband access for the first time.
The 150 Schools Connectivity Project, undertaken by the Telkom Foundation in partnership with the Department of Education, was officially handed over to Western Cape Department of Education yesterday, during a ceremony at the Ruyterwacht Primary School, in Cape Town.
The project will see three classrooms in each of the participating schools equipped with an Internet package, consisting of interactive white boards with projectors and laptops for teachers.
Telkom Foundation CEO Reabetsoe Motsepe explained that for two years following the installation, Telkom would be responsible for the Internet accounts. Thereafter, the schools will be responsible for the account, but at a special e-rate for public schools.
The e-rate, as outlined in the South African Schools Act, subsidises 50% of the cost of the schools' Internet use.
Addressing guests at the handover yesterday, Telkom SA MD Nombulelo Moholi said the World Wide Web was the single most important technological invention of the last century.
“In the education arena, content and delivery of instruction can be tailored to the needs of learners,” said Moholi. “Learners can use the Internet's vast information databases to acquire and expand their knowledge. In doing so, they will develop skills critical to lifelong learning.
“This is one side of the coin. The other side is that the global network of networks is not open to all. Many millions of people are victims of the digital famine we have come to know as the digital divide. In a global economy fuelled by knowledge and information, it is extremely difficult to break the shackles of stagnation without the help of information and communication technologies,” she said.
This project will prepare students for the knowledge economy by providing the capacity for teachers to integrate digital tools and content into the curriculum, concluded Moholi.