Toekomsrus Primary School receives first “biz IT centre” lab

To the great excitement of its students, Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa has sponsored the setup of a complete IT laboratory at Toekomsrus Primary School, situated in the township of Toekomsrus in Randfontein, Johannesburg. The school’s new “biz IT centre was established in conjunction with The Edu-Care Foundation, a non-profit organisation focusing on enhancing educational opportunities for all students, and giveITback, a company specialising in the establishment of complete IT labs in underprivileged communities. Says Konica Minolta South Africa special projects manager, Laetitia Coetzer: “Konica Minolta South Africa and The Edu-Care Foundation have worked with Toekomsrus Primary School previously, having provided the school with a ‘bizbook corner’ earlier in the year, to encourage children to improve their reading abilities, as well as giving each learner a schoolbag and a pencil case filled with stationery. We had found the school to be extremely well managed by principal Noleen Henney and her staff, making it the number one choice for our first biz IT centre. “The school has certainly been completely dedicated to this project, ensuring that the IT lab is secure, with the installation of a security gate, burglar bars and an alarm, as well as tiling the room and installing blinds,” she adds. The new lab features 31 MSI All-in-One PCs (one teacher computer/ server and 30 student PCs), loaded with software, including educational programs with a focus on typing skills, mathematics, physics, geography and so on, as well as the OpenOffice suite. A special antenna to boost 3G signal was installed and a bizhub 20 multifunctional device (plus three year maintenance contract) provided to meet students’ printing needs. According to Jonathan Michael, giveITback business manager, the PCs also feature web cams and software that allows the teacher see a live snapshot of each PC, as well as the ability to take control of students’ computers as needed. “This provides an excellent learning tool as the teacher can demonstrate and correct the learner there and then. The teacher is also able to check and authorise all print jobs, to guard against the abuse of resources. “This type of experience and related skills will certainly provide these children with a foot in the door, both from a career perspective as well as for potential bursary applications,” he adds. In addition to installing the IT lab at Toekomsrus Primary School, giveITback is providing IT support via a remote log in. Toekomsrus Primary School principal, Noleen Henney was effusive in her thanks to the three organisations, stating that the children had been itching to enter the lab for days prior to the official opening ceremony: “Toekomsrus Primary School staff and students would like to thank Konica Minolta South Africa, The Edu-Care Foundation and giveITback for once again giving our school a helping hand. The children are so excited and cannot wait to start using the computers and learning. We are dedicated to making the best possible use of our biz IT centre into the future.”