The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) this week opened a cyber lab at the Ntafufu Senior Secondary School, in honour of Mandela Day.
Located in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, the secondary school’s cyber lab was launched in partnership with the State IT Agency (SITA), as part of a national cyber lab programme.
According to the DCDT, the cyber lab aims to enhance learners’ academic development and teachers’ learning materials through free internet connectivity, laptop devices and an overhead projector, among other technology.
Communications and digital technologies minister Mondli Gungubele officially opened the lab yesterday, joined by the executive leadership of SITA, the department and some of its entities.
Speaking at the launch event, Gungubele said the cyber lab is aligned to his vision of SITA reasserting itself as the leader in driving ICT transformation in government.
“We want to see a multitude of ICT-enabled learners, harnessing ICTs for the development of interventions and other solutions that contribute to a better way of life.
“This school is an inspiration to all of us. You worked to invest in your school, and today you have buildings and an ICT cyber lab.”
Gungubele noted that Ntafufu Senior Secondary School is the second learning institution to receive a cyber lab this year, as part of SITA’s cyber lab programme rollout.
The DCDT has made a commitment to open similar labs in five high schools across the country, in North West, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
The minister urged learners to make use of the cyber lab. “This cyber lab gives learners tools to learn new ways of learning, show skills and to be able to compete with other countries, because other countries are way ahead of us.
“We hope this school, through the support it receives from partners like SITA, will produce many astute business leaders with much-needed entrepreneurial skills, who will contribute to a better life for yourselves, your communities and our nation.”
The minister added the school must produce ICT advisors and leaders that will take the department and SITA forward, saying there will be no better return on investment than that.
“I therefore call upon the community of Lusikisiki and Port St Johns local municipality to take good care of this investment and protect it from vandals and thieves. It is an investment into the future of all our children of Lusikisiki.”