Learners at BK Matlala Commercial High School in Limpopo now have access to a high-tech IT centre, which will drastically change the face of learning and teaching at the institution.
The centre was launched recently by Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana.
“The learners of BK Matlala now have the facilities to transport them into the digital realm. Right here in the bowls of Limpopo, our children are exposed to state–of-the-art facilities to enhance their classroom experience.
”I have no doubt that these facilities will have a considerable result on the pass rate of this school,” said Kekana.
The Deputy Minister said limited technology and internet access is a threat to society that hinders economic growth. A project such as the IT centre has the potential to bring hope to children in impoverished areas.
With technology driving every aspect of society, new learning methods have also been introduced to make more knowledge available.
“Within our contemporary world, if individuals have limited or no access to knowledge of digital technologies and the internet, then their capacity to fully contribute to and benefit from society and the economy is reduced.
“Essentially these individuals are placed at a disadvantage to other members of society. Access to digital technologies and the internet can intensify social divisions by enabling those educated individuals, who have easy digital technology and internet access, to take up lifelong learning opportunities and become information rich in comparison to those less educated individuals, who have no or limited access to digital technologies and the internet, who evidently become information poor,” said Kekana.
A well-equipped school, she said, was the foundation of a well-equipped society.
The Deputy Minister said it is important to understand what the digital divide represents in order to bridge the gap by implementing national and global strategies that distribute information and knowledge among the information rich and information poor more evenly.
“In effect by bridging the digital divide, we are increasing the employment opportunities of the information poor by helping them to overcome social and cultural inequalities.” Digital technologies and the internet should broaden and enhance economic and educational opportunities, rather than increase social inequalities, Kekana said.
According to the 2015 General Household Survey of Statistics South Africa, only 1.6% of people in Limpopo had access of internet in their houses.
“The call to action, Thuma Mina, calls upon society: civil society, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and government to come together and solve problems of this nature,” Kekana said.
The leadership of the Takalani Foundation and Vodacom were also at the IT centre launch.