Smiles for our new computer roomAt an official handover event held on 3 February 2011, and under the auspices of Principal, Mrs JR Mngadi, the learners of Mariannhill’s Junior Primary School saw the opening of their very own computer resource centre thanks to the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising initiative.

Making use of computer hardware donated to the school by corporations in the area, MySchool spent in excess of R40,000 to turn a converted cargo container into a functional facility for Mariannhill’s learners.

 

“We had 10 unassembled, unconnected computers that were merely being stored until such time as the school could afford to pay for the services of an expert to install them,” says Mrs Mngadi. “Now thanks to MySchool, we have a top-class computer resource centre complete with all the relevant software and educational resources, which will assist not only this school’s learners but those from neighbouring schools, too.”

Identifying that simply assembling the hardware would not meet the school’s technological needs, General Manager for MySchool, Pieter Twine, sought the assistance of one of the organisation’s partners Evalunet, which produces and supplies curriculum-aligned educational software, as well as the expertise of Anthony Mallet, an IT technician who carried out the entire installation at cost price.

“In addition, we saw that in relation to the number of learners attending the school 10 computers wouldn’t be sufficient,” adds Twine. “Six extra computers were sourced and we donated new desks and chairs. What’s more, all 16 computers are loaded with certified Microsoft Office as well as Biblion educational software.”

On the day of the handover event, MySchool made a further commitment to the school by announcing the programme would pay for teacher training and assist with ongoing maintenance and support of the facility to the value of R5,000.

“We are so grateful for this donation, which will benefit all 925 of our learners; from Grade R to Grade 4,” comments Mngadi. “And we look forward to literally bridging the technological divide by sharing this facility with members - young and old – from surrounding communities.”

Says Mrs SS Gcwabaza, programme director at Mariannhill Junior School: “At this school, we share a common vision of realising excellence against all odds. The odds against us are great: poverty, crime, HIV/Aids and a large learner count. However, it is our responsibility as educators and parents to teach these children how to use technology in order to get ahead in life, and this computer resource centre will go a long way in helping us do just that.”

Twine concludes: “MySchool is happy to know that Mariannhill Junior School – in the true sense of Ubuntu – will be sharing this valuable resource with its neighbouring schools and the community at large. It is our sincere hope that it will make a positive and significant educational difference to all.”