MTN South Africa Foundation has handed over computer laboratory equipment to the University of Venda (Univen) on Wednesday, 21 June 2017. The ceremony was held at Univen Innovative Growth Company (UIGC) foyer.
Fourty computers and other related IT teaching and learning equipment was donated by MTN for an unconfirmed value.
“There is dire need for educational support in the country’s educational system,” says, MTN SA Foundation Senior Manager for Education Programmes, Mr Eric Matsomane.
He said that the main reason for the sponsorship is for the advancement and spread of the ICT (Information and Communication Technology).
“It is not like the university cannot afford computers. This University has other major objectives to achieve and there is a high number of students who need this equipment to fulfil their career objectives,” he added.
He said since the year 2000, MTN SA Foundation has featured on the secondary connectivity programme which aims at the provision of multimedia centres to schools. This is part of the attempt to bridge the digital divide gap and to bring the previously disadvantaged closer to the world of technology.
“Since 2013 we moved to support Higher Education Institutions after realising the need for Universities that offer teacher training. We felt the obligation to expand ICT to teachers while still at training so that they are competent and efficient to use technology when they are qualified.”
He also said that they are so pleased that the intention for spreading ICT equipment is already imbedded at Univen.
“We hope that it will be used to its maximum and treated with care,” he added.
He congratulated Univen for expanding the ICT to reach the communities.
“We want to share with you the little that we have. We hope that it will go a long way in enhancing ICT here,” he said.
He further said “We have already donated 350 computer laboratories across the country including Thohoyandou High School, Tshilidzini Special School and Fulufhelo Special School.
So far MTN is operating in 22 countries across the world including the founding country, South Africa.
Univen’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Peter Mbati, was euphoric and appreciated the sponsorship.
He said “We need partners to walk the journey with us, the journey for delivering the academic project.”
He further echoed Mr Matsomane’s words and said “As a University, we do not have enough resources to achieve our goals. It is only through partners like MTN SA Foundation that we are able to meet our strategic objectives.”
He also said that ICT is a major operational driver of the core businesses of any organization, including institutions of higher learning. Prof Mbati assured MTN that the resources will be used productively.
The Chief Executive Officer of the UNIVEN Innovation and Growth Company Dr John Mudau said that people are living in a modern world where computers and internet are very critical.
“There are many people out there who do not have basic operating knowledge of computers” he said.
He said that UIGC provides Basic Computer Literacy education.
“For the past eight months we have already trained more than 100 candidates. The programme only takes six weeks of training. We are also training people from the communities around Thohoyandou. Those people have keen interest on how to operate a computer at a basic level,” he said.
The course is also attracting municipality workers.
“We have already trained about thirty (30) councillors from the Thulamela Local Municipality. The municipality wants its workers to know how to operate computers and it has given us a mandate to train its councillors,” he added.