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Vodacom Group

Vodacom Millionaires gives computer lab facelift to

Thursday, 6 September 2012

On Thursday Vodacom Millionaires refurbished a computer center for Umkomaas Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal by updating old equipment and upgrading internet connectivity which was donated in 2006.

The upgraded computer lab now comprises of 21 laptops, a server, printer, cartridges, four WebBoxes with LCD Screens and a 400MB monthly internet access for one year.

The relationship between Umkomaas Secondary School and Vodacom Millionaires began six years ago when one keen student, Sthabiso Ngongoma, nominated his school to receive a computer centre, after watching an episode of the popular SABC 1 TV game show, Vodacom Millionaires which is flighted on Tuesday evenings.

Sthabiso, who was a rising footballer and a soccer fanatic, lost his leg in an accident and was unable to play his favourite sport. He developed interest in technology, but due to a lack of information and technology equipment at his school, it became difficult for
Sthabiso and his fellow learners to pursue his new interest as a learning subject.

The challenge which stood in the way of Sthabiso and his fellow learners was resolved when Vodacom Millionaires awarded Umkomaas Secondary School with a computer centre. 

Speaking at the event, Suraya Hamdulay, executive head of corporate citizenship at Vodacom says: "We are thrilled to be back at Umkomaas Secondary school. This is part of Vodacom's ongoing strategy to revisit schools that have received computer labs before,
updating equipment with the latest technology and connectivity, putting the power of the internet into people's hands at all levels and any time. It's good to see that students like Sthabiso take the initiative to consider his school and fellow learners who will benefit from this programme."

Vodacom also made sure Sthabiso got a prosthetic leg and a scholarship to help further his studies. He has started his university degree and is well on his way to building a successful career.

The internet is a tool that empowers society to school the illiterate, prepares learners with basic computer skills, and opens a universe of knowledge to all students by enriching their understanding.

"The day my former school was announced as one of the recipients of the computer lab will always be a moment to remember. Being a person who is into technology, I benefitted hugely from the computer centre and that led me to study electronic engineering, thanks to a scholarship funded by Vodacom. Currently I'm doing my internship at the KZN Vodacom regional office," says Ngongoma, former learner at Umkomaas Secondary School.

The Vodacom Millionaires initiative, now in its sixth year running, aims to bridge the digital divide that exists in communities without access to electronic and information technology (ICT).

Vodacom Millionaires supports public schools throughout the country by ensuring that teachers have access to the highest quality teaching resources. The popular Vodacom TV game show donates four computer labs every month, and to date more than 270 computer
labs have been installed in rural areas and township schools.

"Sthabiso is an inspiration to all and we are very proud of what he has achieved thus far. I encourage the current students to take advantage of their new computer centre. The use of technology will add to the good results already achieved," says Prem Jagdev, principal at Umkomaas Secondary School.

"I urge the learners not to abuse the computer lab so it can pass from generation to generation, using the power of the internet in their studies and always be aware of what is going on in the world," says Ngongoma.

The power of the internet is invaluable and connectivity has the potential to transform education and accelerate economic and job growth in this country.

"We encourage schools that are currently without a computer lab to contact us for the forms and apply," says Hamdulay.


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