Pretoria – BMW South Africa, in partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HP), Datacentrix and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), officially launched the Computer Applications Technology (C.A.T.) Schools Programme yesterday at the Soshanguve High School, north of Pretoria. The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty presented a keynote address in support of this initiative.
In collaboration with the Department of Basic Education, eight schools in and around Soshanguve and Garankuwa were identified for the programme. The programme aims to ensure that capacity is built within the teaching component of each school, as well as encourage and prepare learners to take up ICT-related studies in their tertiary education.
BMW South Africa has been an engaged and committed corporate citizen for the past 39 years and has allocated an amount of R3,5 million solely for the purpose of establishing a fully equipped computer centre in each of these schools.
“BMW is committed to contributing to the long-term sustainable development of Southern Africa as a whole. By giving communities the tools required to promote long-term development, we are ensuring that this investment is felt for decades to come,” says Guy Kilfoil, General Manager: Group Communications & Public Affairs for BMW South Africa.
“Well educated and well trained people are one of the key success factors for the overall upliftment of South Africa, which is why this programme – like so many of our other CSR initiatives – focuses on developing these scarce skills amongst school leavers.”
HP came on board as a partner and provided highly sophisticated yet suitable system technology, while Datacentrix assisted with the installation of all equipment and refurbishment of the computer centres.
“Education has been a key driver for HP for many years starting with the I Community project as early as 2002. This is yet another opportunity we saw in enhancing HP’s capabilities in the South African Education market, by ensuring key partnerships in enhancing the real objective which is an environment that is conducive for the future of our learners,” says Thibault Dousson, HP South Africa PPS General Manager.
“HP has also leveraged the most appropriate technologies that is needed for schools reducing the traditional challenges like security, knowledge and control. We are proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to more of these ventures in the near future,” continues Dousson.
A project of this nature would only be deemed successful if sustainable and TUT will therefore be providing focused training and capacity building at each of the schools through its Humanities and Information Communication Technology faculties. This will include overseeing the maintenance and daily functioning of the centres.
Fourth year students will also be deployed as “teacher assistants” in these schools with the aim of assisting the current C.A.T teachers in each school on mastering the subject and offering thereof.
Another important component of this project is the research that will be conducted on these eight schools by the Educational Studies Department. The research will serve to deliver results highlighting the impact and value of this project in the schools in terms of how it could possibly contribute to the pass rate of the learners overall and increase awareness of ICT-related courses that could potentially be pursued by the learners.
The eight schools who will be benefitting from this programme are, Soshanguve High School, LG Holele High School, Makhosini High School, Wallmansthal High School, Kgadime Matsepe High School, Central Secondary High School, Lethabong Secondary School and Malatse Motsepe High School.
Kilfoil assures that BMW South Africa remains committed to this social responsibility programme as it looks to empower the schools for the future.