Wipro has provided two ICT laboratories to two schools in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga in partnership with South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
As part of the IDC’s Whole School Development Programme which was launched in 2012 with the Department of Basic Education and Adopt A School Foundation, in addition to the ICT laboratories, Makhosana-Manzini High School received an administration block and Mapaleni Primary School received a library which was equipped with books donated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The Whole School Development Project aims to improve the academic, infrastructural, social and security environments in schools in South Africa.
IDC is a government owned national development finance institution set up to promote economic growth and industrial development in South Africa. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999, which focuses on dialogue and legacy work carried out in his memory. The Adopt-a-School Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports the creation and enhancement of a conducive learning and teaching environment in disadvantaged schools.
As a part of this initiative, Wipro will provide ICT infrastructure and implementation support to twenty-nine specially identified rural schools across South Africa, starting with six schools in Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape. Wipro will also provide computer literacy training to the educators and staff of each school, ensuring they are trained to use the equipment and programs and are able to train students. This initiative complements the collaborative contributions of the IDC to provide refurbished and fully outfitted computer labs at each school.
Gavin Holme, business head: Africa at Wipro, says: “We are honoured to partner with social sector leaders such as the IDC, Adopt-A-School Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. We believe that education is the cornerstone of development, and technology is a key enabler. Access to ICT resources is a gateway to educational resources, and a step towards creating a constructive learning experience which will pave the way for greater opportunities for students in South Africa.”
The project forms part of Wipro’s skills development initiative, which aims to invest in and the upskilling of talent for South Africa’s IT sector and ICT resources for education. The initiative involves IT education at the grassroots level.
“Unemployment among the youth is an ongoing crisis in South Africa,” says Geoffrey Qhena, CEO of the IDC. “As per a World Bank report, almost half the population within the age group of 15 to 24 years old are currently unemployed. A lack of educational attainment is a major contributing factor to this crisis, and one of the ways of addressing this is through the kind of sustained intervention we have achieved in our partnership with Adopt-a-School and Wipro.”