Mustek, the country’s largest assembler and distributor of personal computers and complementary ICT products has opened a computer laboratory at Zamuthule Primary School in rural Mpophoneni, near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal.
Today’s opening, attended by representatives of the Department of Education and members of the school community, is a culmination of months of work between Mustek and the school’s principal and staff, as well as parents and people living in the nearby area.
“We feel that it is critical to have buy-in and support from the broader community if a project of this nature is to be successful. Following our site visits to the school and the provision of a proposed solution from Mustek, we were able to clearly define the areas that the school was required to assist us with.
“Rather than us merely ‘handing-over’ a solution, we believe that a vested commitment from both sides provides a platform for sustained success in the long-run,” says, Vishal Chunilall, regional manager, Mustek KwaZulu-Natal.
After a thorough survey of the school and its infrastructure, Mustek provided a report back to Ngema, the school’s principal, which clearly included the two-phased approach to the project, spanning implementation and training, but importantly upfront, the need to see out fundamental modifications.
Building on the school’s existing facilities, which had been constructed by the school’s community, Mustek advised on various infrastructure requirements, including the need for a ramp for the smooth transportation of the IT equipment around the school, as well as the need to provide secure protection of the IT equipment once delivered to the school.
Mustek’s solution includes the provision of 36 Mecer laptops, which are transported on a custom-built trolley as well as an additional laptop for a teacher. Mustek also supplied a data-projector and a printer for the school’s new ICT Laboratory, as well as a “pre-paid 12-month data SIM” with 100Gb of data.
Part of Mustek’s contribution also includes updates to classroom material such as blackboards, provision of suitable lighting and window blinds.
David de Winnaar, technical manager at Mustek KZN says, “Although the dedicated ICT facility itself, is now optimally set-up to teach learners at Zamuthule Primary, by providing the laptop trolley, we have also allowed for a mobile solution, whereby the utilisation of technology can truly be integrated into learning across all subjects and in multiple classes.
“Now that the equipment has been successfully installed, we can move onto the second phase of the project.”
The next phase of Mustek’s offering to the school will see two of the school’s teachers being trained through the ‘Intel Getting Started’ Programme. Apart from familiarising these teachers with the provided equipment, the training will importantly, supply them with skills to integrate technology into learning at the school, and allow them to spread this knowledge to teachers throughout the school.
“It has been a pleasure working closely with Mr Ngema and his extended team on a project that we can all be proud of. We look forward to hearing about the wonderful successes in the classroom, thanks to the integration of more technology at Zamuthule Primary,” concludes Chunilall.