The Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Tribal Authority in the Northwest is rolling out modern computer labs to schools in 32 villages in and around Moruleng, as part of its initiative to improve the quality of education in the region.
"With this project we are preparing learners for careers beyond the classroom and are equipping them with skills that they will be able to use throughout their lives," says Kgosi Nyalala Pilane, chief of Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela.
At least nine schools welcomed the new labs when they returned to school on the first day of the new term a few days ago. The installation in these schools cost about R500 000.00.
The project is expected to be rolled out to more schools in the next couple of months.
The computer labs will consist of fully-fledged desktops and learners will be exposed to programs such as using the Internet, sending e-mails, writing on a computer and other functions.
Final-year learners will benefit immediately from the project that is designed to prepare them for the "outside world".
The project is expected to grow to benefit an increasing number of learners attending schools within the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Tribal Authority, as part of an overall information & communication technology (ICT) strategy meant to develop all schools within the Bakgatla tribe.
"Bakgatla's objective with this initiative is to empower our youth with sustainable skills to assist them in the long term. Computer literacy is fast becoming a basic skill and we cannot sit back and watch our youth struggle when they enter the working environment," says Kgosi Nyalala Pilane. "This is our contribution to help the country bridge the digital divide."
Kgosi Pilane adds that empowering the youth ties in with the tribal office's philosophy, which has a core focus on leaving a legacy for the future generation, whereby leadership can be groomed to the benefit of the community.