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Wipro partners on access for rural learners

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Wipro has launched a three-year Corporate Social Investment project in South Africa in partnership with the country’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to set up 29 computer laboratories that will benefit 28,000 students from rural areas.
The labs to be used primarily by students from grade 7-12 will be set up in 29 schools adopted by IDC in provinces across the country. The program will first be rolled out in the Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape regions. Most of these schools are located in places where the need for technology education is paramount.
The programme will provide fully-equipped and connected computer labs to each school, supported by a sustainable programme of computer education for approximately 800 teachers as well as school students. IDC will appoint and train one unemployed youth from the community to help each school run its computer lab.
Gavin Holme, business head at Wipro Africa, says: “Wipro is committed to supporting the growth of a sustainable economy in South Africa and has over the years unveiled several initiatives in this direction. Many rural schools in the region continue to be disadvantaged by limited levels of access to technology resources, resulting in lower levels of information and communications technology literacy among both teachers and students. Our partnership with the IDC will provide thousands of learners with the access and skills that are essential for the digital age.”
He adds: “We are committed to provide a broad range of hardware, software, connectivity, education and programme management resources to ensure that we deliver the real impact we have envisioned.”
Zama Luthuli, IDC’s Divisional Executive for Corporate Affairs, comments: “Wipro is the ideal partner for this initiative given their extensive experience in launching education-based technology projects. Wipro’s approach mirrors our own, in that both organisations are passionate about making a sustainable difference in the South African education system.”
Wipro is a Level 2 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor in South Africa. The company runs several initiatives under its flagship programme Siyapha, including a popular Graduate Internship Programme to train tertiary level graduates. To date, Siyapha has provided technology training and access to over 4 800 people in South Africa.
The spirit of this initiative aligns with the government of South Africa’s Operation Phakisa in information and communications technology in the education sector.