Lack of computers hamper black pupils

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Suzan Malinga, 18, would have loved to write computer application technology (CAT) yesterday.

Unfortunately her school, Musupatsela High in Kagiso on the West Rand, was equipped with a computer centre only two months ago and the computers have not yet been installed.

"I would have loved to do a computer subject but our school does not offer it," Malinga says.

"I would like to attend computer classes privately so that I can compete with students who did the subjects at school."

Malinga is among thousands of township pupils who yesterday did not write CAT but wrote English with the rest of South Africa's matric candidates.

She says next year she wants to study occupational therapy or psychology.

Malinga's teacher, Nthabiseng Gada, says: "We will only introduce computer studies in January because the computer centre does not have computers yet. Security systems had to be put in place before installing the computers.

"Between 30 and 40 computers will be installed, which won't be enough for our 414 pupils."

The Gauteng education department admits that township pupils are at a disadvantage because schools are ill-equipped.

Spokesman Panyaza Lesufi says: "We don't have the capacity to get resources. The department has tried to provide 25 computers for every school.

"During exams these computers are not enough because they are practical exams."

Lesufi says the biggest problem in installing computers at township schools is theft.

He admits that the lack of computer-based subjects for township pupils is a disadvantage.

"We hope to improve this in the future," he promises.

Analyst Sipho Seepe says: "Black and poor children are being short-changed. When they go to university they are not only at a financial disadvantage but also an academic one.

"Universities assume they have gone through the courses."