Two Eastern Cape schools get cyber labs
Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and her deputy Pinky Kekana launched two cyber labs at schools in the Eastern Cape as part of a government initiative to supply modern technology equipment to disadvantaged schools in rural areas.
The cyber labs were established at the Nolitha Special School in Mount Ayliff and Zinyosini Senior Secondary School in Ntabankulu.
For the next two years, both schools will be connected to the Internet free of charge and thereafter they will pay for it.
"As citizens of this country, we should not [lag] behind; Internet is there to improve our lives and ensure we are connected and able to communicate with the rest of the world," Ndabeni-Abrahams said at the opening at the Nolitha Special School.
The minister told the learners the computer lab and the Internet will ensure they are able to do research for their studies.
"Freedom is not complete when rural learners are not connected or able to communicate with the outside world. As government, we want to make sure learners in the rural schools are connected and are able to communicate with the outside world," Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
"With the Internet connection here, you can live a better life here without having to go to Gauteng. You can start your own business here and be able to sell your products throughout the country by using a computer and the Internet."
She appealed to the learners and community members to report criminals who steal the computers. Ndabeni-Abrahams also cautioned the learners to strictly use the computers for their studies and not to open sites that do not have anything to do with their studies.
"Don't use the computers to look or search for blessers. Those people will destroy your future; focus on your studies," she said.
Chairperson of the school governing body at Nolitha Special School, Gcina Mketo, appealed to the government to also consider disabled learners for job opportunities, saying the school's learners "have the relevant qualifications just like anybody else; they must be considered for job opportunities".