Today marks a special day in the lives of the teachers and learners of Buffelsdale Secondary School, Tongaat when they were the recipient of a solar powered computer lab. This R500 000 innovative project was sponsored by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) King Shaka International Airport and is the brainchild of an organisation called Give IT Back which was formed in 2009 to provide technology to underprivileged communities especially without electricity and infrastructure.
Terence Delomoney, General Manager of King Shaka International said, ” It gives us great pleasure to be at this very important launch and to be able to add value to the lives of the learners of Buffelsdale Secondary School here in Tongaat. The Computer Lab is for the use of the learners as they become part of the technology world around them. In this day and age it was very difficult to accept that this school did not have access to computers yet they have such impeccable results and still strives to improve”.
The ACSA Socio economic development (SED) pillars include community development, the KSIA SED Committee chose this school as it will serve to uplift the school and the community it serves. There were 5 schools selected and when the criteria was looked at and visitations conducted to the schools, Buffelsdale Secondary School met all the criteria that included, secure premises, no computers, close to the airport and programs that include the school and communities.
The lab comes in a 12 metre shipping container and includes all the features of a standard computer lab. The lab can operate for 7 hours before it needs to be charged. It allows 20 learners to access the lab and is equipped with the necessary software. It comes with a file server, print server and an administrator to remotely view and control all PCs in the lab. Internet access is standard and is provided through 3g access and a remote access camera is fitted for the benefit of security and ensures proper monitoring of the utilisation of the lab. The lab is equipped with whiteboard, desk, chairs and networking facilities.
Delomoney continued that during our visits to schools we see and observe the hardships and challenges faced by the schools but we also hear and see what is only wrong about the school. In the case of Buffelsdale Secondary, Mrs Singh told us about what she is doing and wants to put right for the benefit of the learners and the community. This shows that the school together with the leader wants to positively change how the school is managed. She involves the community in the school and gets the support of the community which is very difficult to do. We wish her and her team the very best in their endeavours for the school.”
Delomoney thanked the organisation Give IT Back for developing this innovative concept that will certainly uplift communities. “As the airport we want the airport to be a legacy and we hope that some of the learners from this school become employees at the airport one day. We want to encourage you to see the airport as an employment opportunity in the years to come. As the sponsor of the facility we are very proud to be part of this project. As you are aware that the matric results for KZN were not very exciting but we cannot worry about the past and look to the future and that is why we wanted to invest in this project. This lab will assist you to take up the challenge and make a positive change”.