Reeston pupils get connected

WIRED: Excitement was the order of the day at Reeston’s only high school, Sophathisana Senior Secondary, when WSU donated 20 laptops to the school.
WIRED: Excitement was the order of the day at Reeston’s only high school, Sophathisana Senior Secondary, when WSU donated 20 laptops to the school.
Image: Supplied

The computer lab at Sophathisana Senior Secondary School in Reeston, near Mdantsane, will finally serve its purpose – five years after it was donated to the school.

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) donated 20 brand new laptops to the school on Thursday, making this possible.

Even though the lab was provided to the school in 2012 by the department of education, it remained a white elephant, until now.

The donation on Thursday was the result of a collaborative effort led by the department of environmental affairs and public enterprises and administration, together with SDB Holdings, the implementing agent, and WSU, in their effort to promote awareness around the critical issue of e-waste management and its impact on the environment.

WSU spokesperson Yonela Tukwayo said the university was one of six universities in the country that had been selected to host an e-waste container-based community enterprise.

The enterprise is located at WSU’s Potsdam site.

SDB’s programme manager, Tito Pitso, said as part of its awareness programme, SDB Holdings requested that each of the university community projects select a school to donate 20 computers to for pupils.

“In addition, the participating university will provide some technical support to the schools and conduct awareness training with the schools,” said Pitso.

Speaking during the hand-over on Thursday, WSU vice-chancellor professor Rob Midgley implored the pupils to take full advantage of the potential academic spin-offs the laptops would bring to the school.

“See in these computers great potential, use them, don’t abuse them. Protect them by showing leadership in ensuring that those who come after you also enjoy the same benefits that you’ll be experiencing through the use of these machines,” said Midgley.

Speaking to the Dispatch, the school’s deputy principal, Thanduxolo Ndara, welcomed the much-needed donation.

“We are the only high school in the area and we have never had computer studies for our learners.

“We are excited and confident that our children will finally be able to compete and compare with better-resourced schools out there,” said Ndara.

School governing body chairperson Ntombizodwa Tapi said the laptops would be of great benefit to pupils.

“We have had numerous pupils from this community head off to tertiary institutions but often fail their first year because they don’t possess basic computer literacy skills.

“I trust that this intervention will aid us in overcoming this burden,” said Tapi.

Excited grade 11 pupil, Buhle Ngxotha, said they would no longer have to travel 10km to the nearest library in the East London CBD to do research for school projects.

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