AS-Salaam School in Braemar, was presented with a brand new computer lab, valued at R217 000, by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) on Wednesday, February 21.
Speaking at the handover, Mr Abdul-Gaffar Osman, a trustee of the SAMCT, said that the importance of computer literacy in South Africa may be compared with maths and science in terms of its value to the future of learners in today’s technologically-driven era.
“Technology in South African schools is vitally important and this computer equipment will make a world of difference to the academic growth and development of learners here.
“Globally, we are becoming an increasingly digital society and reliance on technology will increase as we move into an ever-more digital future. Sadly, however, many schools in this country lack access to technology. Schools have worked to introduce computer laboratories for training, but with the rapid advances which characterise the IT industry, the norm now is for entire classrooms to be transformed into one-on-one, anywhere, anytime, learning environments,” said Mr Osman.
“Those schools lacking any form of access to technology are fast becoming mired in a past which is no longer relevant to the needs of business and society. This is tragic – particularly when viewed against the historic disparity and high levels of inequality in schools, the legacy of a skewed past, and the unfortunate lack of the massive investment necessary to level the playing fields in education during the years since democracy.”
He stressed that ways must be found by the political leadership and captains of industry to support schools, teachers and learners with all-encompassing access to technology and the effective teaching of computer skills.
“We must realise that the concept of e-learning in classrooms is here, and if schools in South Africa are not brought up to speed very quickly, the business sector will find that its future business owners and their employees will be unable to compete effectively in the global environment. The SAMCT is pleased to contribute, in a small way, to facilitating technology development at As-Salaam Private School.
Enhancing its existing information technology environment will assist in delivering more structured computer lessons and after-hours classes. We recognise the financial challenges that schools, such as As-Salaam Private School, face, but believe that access to computers will mean a technologically-advanced future for learners,” said Mr Osman.
The SAMCT was established in 2008 to provide funding, services and other resources for the improvement of the lives of the vulnerable, the deprived and the disadvantaged, and delivers financial assistance throughout the country, irrespective of race or religion, in the fields of health, social development, poverty alleviation and education.
Mr Osman concluded: “It is our fervent hope that with the availability of this IT equipment, this school will be better able to prepare its learners, and others from the community, in the vital and wondrous ways of information technology.”