11 Apr 2016
Today, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty visited a computer centre at Phetogane Secondary School as part of a National Imbizo Focus Week closing event in Thaba Nchu, Free State Province. The visit to Thaba Nchu is a follow-up to an Imbizo held by the Deputy Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams in the area in Youth Month last year during her Imbizo programme and where she conducted a Youth Imbizo and Information Day at Albert Moroka High School. She pledged to award 25 learners with bursaries and IT equipments to Thaba Nchu High Schools.
Thaba Nchu area has ten secondary schools and all of the schools have received the ICT infrastructure of which seven schools are already connected to Wi-Fi. 50 learners from different schools have each received bursaries worth R70 000.00 for tuition fees and prescribed text books. “I have seen significant developments made as a result of the government programme known as the National Imbizo Focus Week. It is a fundamental programme with a commitment to regularly interact with communities and ensure that service delivery blockages are addressed speedily” said the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty.
Deputy Minister Surty celebrated the fact that while 25 bursaries had been committed, 50 bursaries were in fact delivered. He indicated this bears testimony to the issue of partnership and emphasised that while Imbizo is about government listening and giving feedback, solid partnerships are as critical to the concept. He reminded communities, for example, that the South African Police Service can make a commitment to ensure safety and security in school communities, but a safe school can only be in place with a security committee as a partner at each school.
Business sectors, Non-Profit organisations and government parastatals such as Vodacom, Shanduka and MICT SITA heeded the call and partnered with government in bridging the digital divide and provide learners with bursaries. “On behalf of the government I would like to thank our stakeholders and partners for their enormous contributions. This Imbizo programme relies on active citizen participation; we all have a role to play to move South Africa Forward” said Deputy Minister Surty.
During his visit to Phetogane Secondary School, Deputy Ministry Surty engaged the learners on the importance of technology in advancing education. “Information Communications Technologies are an essential tool that can advance education and equip learners and teachers with computer skills. Through ICT tools such as tablets and computers, school learners can access information such as case studies and previous exam question papers.”
Learners at Phetogane Secondary school expressed their gratitude to government and the sponsors. “The ICT centre provided me with an opportunity to learn how to use a tablet and a computer, I am grateful that I will now be able to download study materials and university application forms” said Oratile, matric learner at Phetogane. The Imbizo Focus Week is a platform for communities to engage and interact with public representatives as well as senior government officials.
“As a principal and a beneficiary of the ICT infrastructure, I am proud of the work being done by government. I can attest that the Imbizo programme is yielding positive results. It is a good platform for communities to speak directly with government leaders and inform them about the challenges they are facing in their areas” said Phetogane Secondary School Principal, Mr Daniel Phetlhu.
During his visit to Thaba Nchu, Deputy Minister Surty and his entourage also joined learners, educators and parents from public secondary schools in the areas as well as School Governing Bodies, in an interactive session about key education issues following which the Deputy Minister closed the fourth Imbizo Focus Week. Learners who are 18 years or older were encouraged to exercise their democratic rights and register to vote. 39 deserving matric 2015 learners also received official letters confirming the details of the bursary awarded to them by the MICT SITA.
Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by Government Communication and Information System