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IT donation gives hope to local schools

16 May 2013 - 12:42

Marsh pc donate

Technology was made a little more accessible to the children from Marsh Memorial Home thanks to a donation from the faculty's it department. Pictured here (L-R): Zolisa Diyo (Humanities CTU); Steven Moolman (Marsh Memorial Home) and Mandy Sampie (Humanities Undergraduate Office)

This year, the Humanities Central Technology Unit (CTU) earmarked a total of ten computers for donation to disadvantaged schools in the Western Cape. All of the desktop computers were installed with Open Office software. Eight were distributed to schools in February and the remainder were delivered to Marsh Memorial Home on Friday, the 3rd of May.

This latest donation of IT equipment follows a sucessful faculty initiative in 2012, which saw staff members visiting a local children's home on Mandela Day. On that day, staff delivered a sizable collection of second-hand goods as well as one refurbished PC donated by the faculty's CTU. In 2012, staff pledged to retain ties with Marsh Memorial Home through ongoing donations and volunteer work. Zolisa Diyo (Humanities CTU) was so moved by the visit that he has since offered his technical expertise to the facility after hours.

"Marsh Memorial's principal, Steven Moolman told us that they have been in desperate need of computers so that the children can research their school projects. Now, because of this small donation, each of the five cottages at the home will have access to at least one computer. Its really great to know that we are making a difference in children's lives" said Zolisa Diyo.

Of the three computers delivered to this children's home, one came from a staff member who had initially purchased the equipment from UCT for home use. Disa High School in Hout Bay was also a recepient of four faculty computers. Disa is a new school which opened its doors in January 2013 to service the residents of the Imizamo Yethu township in Hout Bay.

According to faculty IT Manager, Puleng Makhoalibe, the PC donation initiative is part of a bigger community and staff engagement project. This year, Humanities CTU plans to conduct basic computer training for learners in the Cape Town metropole. The idea is to utilise the faculty's computer labs during the vacation period to introduce school children to basic computer skills as well as to expose them to technological teaching enviroments at university level.

'So much of our teaching and learning at UCT is driven by technology. Yet students often arrive at our institution with little or no prior experience working with computers. By providing hands-on training during the vac period, our team is working to empower young people from our local communities" says Puleng.