With the ever-growing importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills in South Africa’s education landscape, preparing the youth for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) requires a focus on providing ample digital literacy opportunities at the school level.
RuraTech, a socially-minded private company, is at the forefront of several digital literacy projects aimed at supporting learners in rural and disadvantaged areas across the country. Their groundbreaking initiative, the digital library project, is making strides in bridging the digital divide and empowering students to be part of the digital revolution.
Through this project, RuraTech equips schools with mobile ‘tablet trolleys’ containing 40 Windows and/or Android tablets, along with a teacher’s laptop and a free offline educational server. Additionally, schools benefit from uninterrupted learning and internet connectivity through Vuma’s Fibre to School Programme, complemented by UPS devices to ensure an uninterrupted power supply. For rural schools without brick-and-mortar classrooms or access to electricity, RuraTech provides solar-powered computer labs housed in recycled 40-foot shipping containers, tailored to meet their unique needs.
“Though a fairly young initiative, RuraTech has already made a significant impact with our diverse projects,” says Jeffrey Katuruza, Director and founder of RuraTech. “We have successfully equipped eight schools and benefited over 6,000 students, with numbers steadily increasing.”
Teaming up with Vuma, RuraTech has expanded its reach to more schools nationwide, granting students access to online resources as well as RuraTech’s offline digital literacy materials.
Chanteline Le Roux, principal of Fernwood Park Primary School in Bethelsdorp, Gqeberha, attests to the transformative power of the digital library initiative. “The learners are thrilled to explore new realms of learning using the new technology and resources now available to them and the school,” says Le Roux. “The enriched curriculum activities and enhanced computer literacy skills will serve them well in their schooling and beyond.”
Taylor Kwong, Marketing & CSI Manager at Vuma, emphasizes the importance of digital literacy in unlocking the potential of South African youth, promoting inclusivity, and bridging the digital gap. STEM education, vital for the country’s growth, finds a crucial place in the classroom, propelling students and various industries forward.
Katuruza appreciates Vuma’s support, eager for more collaborations to expand projects benefiting communities.
Empowering the future generation, building a digitally-empowered South Africa, and ensuring progress for all.