Stats SA donates ICT equipment to PE schools

A computer
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Two schools in Port Elizabeth have become the beneficiaries of state of the art technology donated by Statistics South Africa.

Solomon Mahlangu Secondary and Sakhisizwe High School received 30 computers aimed at increasing the use of technology in disadvantaged schools. The computers were also equipped with software and installed with programmes to increase statistics literacy amongst learners.

Statistician General of South Africa and head of Statistics SA Risenga Maluleke says that Stats SA wants to implement data handling at grass roots level to assist schools that are computer illiterate.

“Generally the work of Stats SA is to produce numbers, but those people who are producing those numbers must be developed everywhere is society. We also have a program of mathematics development and maths literacy and mathematical stats lessons that we work with schools all over the country. So the computers are just one part of it. The core business is to make sure that our learners and society are always ready to deal with numbers.”

Educators at one of the schools that benefited, Sakhisizwe High School, say students only encounter computers when they leave high school and this hinders their acceptance into tertiary institutions. The school principal Nomvuselelo Tonsi, says that the computers will benefit learners of all grades, but grade 12 learners will be prioritised.

“It is going to benefit a lot. Our priority is that we want to utilise these computers for the whole school and in every grade, but the priority is in grade 12. It is a disgrace when a child gets into tertiary level, that a person cannot type an assignment that lecturer won’t understand or consider. So we want to equip them.”

Students are excited to start learning how to use the new technology:

“Everything we did in previous years was on the board and now we are going to do things practically; do our assignments here and have more knowledge about computers because most of us have never seen computers and touching them let alone learning about them, we are very happy.”

“Now we don’t have to go an extra mile to find information now everything is in front of us and it’s going to be easy.”

Youth unemployment in South Africa is now at an alarming 38, 6%. Stats SA says one of the reasons for the high unemployment rate is because students are not computer literate when they want to enter the job market.