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Neotel announces winners of IgniteIT ICT schools competition

Schools win prizes worth R200 000.

IgniteIT - Winner - Kingsway Secondary School.

IgniteIT - Winner - Kingsway Secondary School.

Neotel, in partnership with the Department of Communications, the Gauteng Department of Education and Huawei, is pleased to announce the winners of the IgniteIT ICT schools competition: Kingsway Secondary School, Phomolong Secondary School and Willowmoore High School. The schools were honoured at a function at Neotel on Friday, 30 August 2013.

The winning schools will receive prizes valued at over R200 000, including an ICT laboratory and e-class solutions with interactive boards, projectors, LCD screens, routers and related equipment, sponsored by Huawei. The ICT training content for the solution will be provided by the N2 Education Hub, which is the partnership between Neotel and NIIT.

IgniteIT - Third Place (Willowmoore High School).

IgniteIT - Third Place (Willowmoore High School).

Neotel MD and CEO, Sunil Joshi, commented: "Neotel recognises the shortage of skills in the ICT sector, and, as part of providing solutions, we initiated various projects to encourage youth and young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to become active participants and also increase the awareness on career choices in the sector. The Ignite ICT schools competition is one of the projects we have initiated. Neotel is proud to play an active role in bridging the ICT skills divide and playing an instrumental role in the creation of jobs for the South African economy. I hope that the participants, whether they won or not, will be encouraged to pursue careers in the sector."

The competition challenged teams of learners to create entries according to one of three possible briefs, using technology to design and deliver their ideas. The winning entry, by Kingsway Secondary School, focused on "A trans-media storytelling report on distracted driving". Phomolong Secondary School, which took second place, focused on the "Journey to finding the coolest career in ICT", while third place was taken by Willowmoore High School for a report on "Road Safety Texting & Driving".

IgniteIT - 2nd Place Winner (Phomolong Secondary).

IgniteIT - 2nd Place Winner (Phomolong Secondary).

Christina Naidoo, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Huawei Technologies in South Africa, commented: "At Huawei, we understand the need for breaking down barriers preventing women from being part of the ICT revolution, both as part of our corporate culture and corporate social responsibility (CSR). We have turned this commitment into practice; the head of Huawei's Board of Directors is a woman, with almost a quarter of the board being female directors. Additionally, Huawei gives preference to female candidates in selecting managers when candidates' qualifications are on an equal footing. In South Africa currently, our female staff have taken up key management positions such as COO and regional directors, among others, as a testament of our promoting women in ICT."

Naidoo thanked Neotel for initiating the Ignite IT schools ICT competition, adding that Huawei had partnered with Neotel in the initiative because it was in line with the company's CSR mission to bridge the digital divide in SA through knowledge transfer among youth.

Neotel

Neotel is South Africa's first converged communications network operator. It provides a range of value-added voice and data services for businesses, wholesale network operators, and providers and consumers using its pure-IP next-generation network, powered by Neotel's high-performance fibre-optic backbone. Neotel connects the major centres in South Africa to each other and to the world, directly linking the country into Tata Communications' global tier one network. Neotel offers fresh thinking, a creative approach and flexible solutions for communications in South Africa. Neotel continues to invest in developing a world-class fibre network infrastructure, which now spans Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Port Elizabeth, reaching nearly nine million consumers.

Huawei

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Through its dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, it has established end-to-end advantages in telecoms networks, devices and cloud computing. It is committed to creating maximum value for telecoms operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services. Its products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world's population. For more information, visit Huawei online: www.huawei.com.

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/huaweipress and YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/HuaweiPress.

Techno Girl programme

Techno Girl is an innovative job-shadowing programme for girls, with a particular bias toward STEM careers. The programme is a flagship programme of the Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, in partnership with Uweso Consulting, UNICEF and the Department of Basic Education. It is premised on the understanding that structured exposure to the workplace can significantly contribute towards motivating disadvantaged girls to take up careers that are in demand in the economy and where women are under-represented. This will lead to sustained employment, and in so doing, the cycle of poverty can be broken for these girls.

Kingsway Secondary School

Kingsway Secondary School is situated in Kingsway, near Benoni, on the R51 to Springs. It is in an area that was predominantly an informal settlement, but RDP houses have since been built. The school services both the community of Kingsway and the nearby informal settlement, called Lindelani. The school is classified as Section 20, no fee paying and in quintile one. The school opened in 2011 with 11 educators and the principal managing two grades, Grades 8 and 9, but because of the contextual factors affecting the area, an agreement was reached with the Department of Education to accommodate learners from the adjacent primary school as a temporary measure, in order to ease overcrowding, since the primary school was made of mobile classes only. In 2012, the primary learners went back to their mobile school since we had added another grade and so our numbers were increasing.

The school is growing and we now go up to Grade 11 and the learner population is at 1 104. We hope to have our first Grade 12 class in 2014. The staff has also grown in that we are now 31 (principal; one deputy principal; five heads of departments; and 24 educators). We also have two administrators, one cleaner and four groundsmen.

Phomolong Secondary School

Our school is situated in Tembisa, with current enrolment of 2 051. The school attained 97.50 in 2012 Grade 12 results with over 50% university endorsement.

The majority of our learners come from severely impoverished backgrounds, where even the purchase of school uniforms is beyond most families' reach; the will, dedication and sheer determination shown by our learners is most heartening and their educational talent is crying out to be developed.

We were motivated by the global community moving towards the digital age and endless opportunities provided by the ICT industry.

Willowmoore High School, former Model C

Willowmoore High School, located in the middle of the CBD of Benoni, serves the urban community. It opened its doors on 9 January 1974, with virtually no resources and grounds in need of development; a real challenge for staff and students alike. Over its now 39 years of existence, it has exploded into the vibrant, exciting school that is well respected among its peers. The healthy relationship among the school, the SGB and the wider community has seen the school being immaculately maintained while all manner of improvements could be undertaken.

 

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