Samsung Electronics South Africa recently supported three schools in the Limpopo Province by delivering two Solar Powered Internet Schools (SPIS) and an e-Learning Centre (E-LC).
These initiatives are in line with Samsung’s focus of contributing towards education in South Africa’s underprivileged communities through the power of technology.
The SPIS is a solar-powered, mobile and completely self-regulating classroom produced with the aim of increasing accessibility to education and connectivity in schools with restricted infrastructure. It is a 12-metre long, repurposed shipping container that can accommodate up to 21 students. Each SPIS is equipped with a 50-inch electronic board, Internet-enabled Samsung notebooks, tablets and Wi-Fi cameras, all of which are powered by a solar panelled roof
that generates electricity from the sun, for up to nine hours per day.
One of Samsung’s SPIS beneficiaries is Mahwibitswane High School – a central school located in the Kopermyn region, rendering education to surrounding rural communities. Students and teachers at the school previously had to travel a significant distance to seek Internet services as the area is underdeveloped.
The SPIS received from Samsung has brought about increased accessibility to Internet services to the community at large. Though students and teachers at this school lack access to technologically advanced facilities,
Mahwibitswane has been one of the best performing schools in the Kopermyn district. Samsung hopes that the SPIS will further improve learning outcomes by delivering impactful, student-centric learning experiences.
The second school to receive the SPIS was Tshikalange Primary, which is based in Guyuni Hamakuya Village, where 40% of the learners are orphans. Community members travel from Guyuni to Thohoyandou, which is an estimated 76 km trip to obtain Internet access and fax facilities. Teachers at Tshikalange have struggled for years to effectively develop educational projects, due to the lack of access to the Internet, but with the deployment of the SPIS, students, teachers and the community will now have access.
“The SPIS will assist educators and learners in participating and also engaging with other schools on various educational activities, set out by the Department of Education,” says NG Nemukula, headmaster at Tshikalange
Primary. “This new learning method will contribute to enhancing the teaching of the English language as a subject at our school, as it is the medium of instruction for most subjects.”
Bathokwa High School located at Skrikfontein was the recipient of a Samsung E-Learning Centre (E-LC). The E-LC smart solution will assist eager learners to enjoy new experiences within the technologically enhanced classroom.
The E-LC solution consists of 40 Samsung tablets, an air-conditioning system, a large format digital white board, Samsung school solution software, wireless connection points and a Freedom Toaster content kiosk that enables users to burn content onto USBs or CDs via an easy touchscreen interface.
The entire classroom is powered by the Samsung Smart Classroom software, which enables the teacher to share content, push learning material and monitor learner interaction and progress, whilst having full control over devices during a lesson.
Pitso Kekana, head of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics SA, says: “Samsung aims to take learning to new digital heights. Not only is Samsung committed to giving students greater access to education but is also
expanding the scope of learning. We are working with educators around the country to improve learning experiences through the use of technology, by facilitating a classroom environment that is limitless and gives students access to a world of knowledge from their desks and on the go.”