By Irshaad Gangat

The Premier of the Eastern Cape, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, handed over a brand new cyberlab boasting 42 computers connected to the internet to the iconic Healdtown High School outside Fort Beaufort on February 26 as part of the government’s programme to celebrate Raymond Mhlaba’s centenary.

The new cyberlab, was donated by the Telkom Foundation after Communications and Digital Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni Abrahams facilitated the donation requested by Mabuyane, will be used to help learners to access more educational material to improve their performance.

One of the school’s grade 12 learners, Ms Aphiwe Nyinyiba who is doing maths and science, said she was happy that they got the cyberlab from the government and Telkom.

“I feel so happy. It’s going to help me because I am going to research here, do my homework and my schoolwork too.

I am grateful for this. It is very great of them to do this for us,” said Nyinyiba. Another learner, Andiphile Khunu said: “I feel so happy because we are going to learn and google things. My subject are maths and physical science. I want to be an industrial engineer when I finish school.”

Science Teacher, Xolani Patrick Duma before the cyberlab was brought to the school they did not have access to digital resources to be able to expose kids, provide platforms for them to engage digitally with content as well as for teachers with integrating pedagogy or methods of teaching with the digital resources to move to the next generation.“It’s going to assist the school going forward in a great deal.

The school is now transforming from a public school into a science institute, the digital laboratory now plays an integral part of that transition so things like educational applications, not only science-based science educational applications, but all educational applications that are relevant to the curriculum, so the digital platforms are going to help us expose the kids to such resources.

We really appreciate the effort to develop the of a black child particularly the ones that come from areas that we classify as rural areas to expose them to such opportunities in an effort to give them a better life,” said Duma.

Telkom Foundation’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Nathi Kunene said they heeded Ndabeni- Abraham’s call to collaborate with the Eastern Cape provincial government in the rebuilding project to
support the school by providing the lab.

“As part of our programme as Telkom Foundation we are focused in supporting young people and building digital skills and making sure that we are preparing young people, learners for the future world of work and with regards to the skills and the 4th industrial revolution skills that are required.

This is about taking this project to the next step and make sure we are no longer accessing but using technology to be productive, using technology to get to the next level,” said Kunene.

“At that very basic level we are giving learners access, connectivity, we are connecting them to the world and making sure that whatever they do here they are able to collaborate nationally and internationally.

What we have seen is that when schools have the lab, they are able to connect with other schools, they are able to share lessons, share best practices with other schools and be able to improve their own practices at their own schools,” said Kunene.

He said donating cyber labs to schools was about access and bridging the digital divide which increases every day from different communities.

Mabuyane said they brought the lab to the school as part of the programme to restore Healdtown high school to its former glory, adding that he is adopting the school to add into the number of other schools he is adopting because the government is prioritizing education because there is no development without education.

Listen to the ecstatic learners in the sound clips and Premier Mabuyane addressing the adopting Healdtown.

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