Innovative ICT lab to empower young learners

As part of its vision to break the cycle of poverty, Christel House (CH) – a not-for-profit school for low-income families unveiled the school’s new information and communications technology (ICT) lab.

The state-of-the-art ICT lab and its accompanying skills training room was funded by telecommunications giant MTN and aims to empower youngsters to better use technology in an evolving digital world.

The official unveiling took place at the Ottery school on Wednesday. CH enlists pupils from Cape Town’s most disadvantaged areas and provides free, quality education in a stable environment. Children are not selected on academic merit, but solely on financial need. Christel House has never had a student fail the Matric and 85% received Bachelor passes in 2015.

CH CEO Nicky Sheridan said the lab will empower learners to use technology and optimise their entry into a world where digital reigns. He thanked MTN for their contribution.

“MTN has acted on its belief that education is the only way we can permanently bridge the gap between rich and poor in South Africa. Their focus on ICT in education as a way of investing in the South African economy is just what the economy needs right now,” Sheridan said.

At the event, guests witnessed the cutting of the ribbon, the official handover by MTN, followed by a demonstration on how the equipment operates.

“MTN is showing us they want to connect people and help improve our learners’ lives. Academic achievement is important but the most important goal is to ensure our Graduates get the best jobs they can and having the ICT Lab’ will help them become Employable in value added jobs” Sheridan said.

Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation, added: “While employee volunteerism has become entrenched in the corporate social investment calendar of most South African organisations, its sustainable impact on the economy and social development of the country has yet to be fully acknowledged. MTN recognises this and is committed to changing the status quo by being the example

Sheridan believes that MTN’s vision, “to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world,” align perfectly with the school’s intentions to advance the lives of its less fortunate learners.

“We need to prepare our children for the future. Without technology, their education will be compromised. MTN is adding value not only to their education but also to their future professional lives,” Sheridan says.

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