MTN to invest R4m in rural schools

Computing

The MTN SA foundation has opened media centres with Internet connectivity in 10 schools in KwaZulu-Natal's Msinga district.

MTN announced it would invest R4 million in rural KwaZulu-Natal schools to raise the basic education bar and bolster electronic education in rural areas.

In line with this bid, the MTN SA Foundation announced it has officially opened media centres in 10 schools in the province's Msinga district.

MTN SA's chief corporate services officer, Robert Madzonga, said the company is intent on meeting national imperatives to make the move into an age of electronic education. “While we support more access for learners to the world of information technology, we are also aware that quality education is the most sustainable way to break the cycle of poverty and provide young people with a brighter future.”

According to the latest statistics, only 23% of schools have Internet connectivity. While some private schools have started to introduce the use of iPads and other tablet devices in schools, MTN says the challenge for rural communities is the cost of basic utilities, such as electricity.

 “Our investment in KwaZulu-Natal comes at a critical juncture. The province's matric results declined by 2.6% in 2011, compared to 2010. There is a massive drive to improve numeracy and literacy levels. We hope our social investment goes a long way in helping learners and teachers hike pass rates and education standards,” says Madzonga.

MTN will equip each media centre with 20 computers, a multifunctional printer, a data projector, an interactive white board, worktables to accommodate the 20 workstations, routers, modems and data cards. In addition, the company will provide each of the 10 schools with Internet access for 24 months, subsidised at R1 000 per school per month.

The MTN SA Foundation's integrated development strategy is aimed at benefiting selected cluster communities in six provinces. Interventions include providing schools with technology-based teaching and learning aids, enhancing the outreach of existing science centres, establishing interactive tele-teaching technology platforms, and developing the capacity and institutional infrastructure of schools.