Telkom advances education, training initiatives in SA
The Telkom Foundation installed 86 fully-equipped and networked laboratories at rural schools throughout SA.
"The Telkom Foundation prides itself on providing end-to-end solutions to schools. We don`t abandon them once we have provided them with computers and connected them to the Internet, but also provide training, technical support and empowerment - in association with partner-organisations," says Nketheleng Vokwana, CEO of the Telkom Foundation.
Telkom`s Special Schools Project also advanced over the past year. Twenty of the 30 special schools are up and running. This project is the outcome of a public-private partnership between the Telkom Foundation and the Department of Education on government`s White Paper 6 on Inclusive Education. The paper makes provision to create an accessible and enabling environment for learners experiencing barriers to learning. In support, The Telkom Foundation agreed to pilot the first 30 resource centres at schools throughout the country.
For example, Telkom equipped the Sibonele School for the Visually Impaired in Meyerton, south of Johannesburg, with ICT infrastructure. This included 20 computers and networking infrastructure, and assisting devices relevant for learners with visual impairments, e.g. Braille embossers, screen reading software, screen magnifiers and thermoform copiers.
Vokwana said: "The Telkom Foundation has overcome huge challenges to connect some of SA`s remotest schools to the information superhighway. But thanks to technology, we are able to achieve our goals. For example, 33 schools have been connected using V-SAT satellite technology in Limpopo and North West, two remote and inaccessible schools where the educators and learners have access to the information superhighway."
Going forward, the Telkom Foundation would continue to offer South Africans practical and effective outreach projects that contribute directly to socio-economic transformation, Vokwana said.
The Telkom Foundation - Telkom`s corporate social investment arm - spent R40.5 million in 2003/04 to ICT, planning and infrastructure roll-out, empowerment projects and education and training. The foundation focuses on education and training - especially in mathematics, science and technology - and the empowerment of women, children and people with disabilities.