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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  25 Jul 2011

CSI: Datacentrix Supports Thandulwazi Maths & Science IT Academy


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Datacentrix, a leading South African company operating within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, has donated R450, 000 to the Thandulwazi Maths and Science Academy, an education programme run by the St Stithians Foundation that was established in 2006 based on the need for effective action in addressing the critical issues pertaining to the teaching of Maths and Science in schools in and around Gauteng.

“It is wonderful to work with a CSI partner like Datacentrix, which takes such an active interest in the initiatives of the Thandulwazi Maths and Science Academy and is so committed to providing quality education for all in our country,” says Peter Backwell, chair of the St Stithians Foundation. Recognising that an education system is only as good as its teachers, one of the main thrusts of the Thandulwazi programme has been the up-skilling and professional development of teachers currently working in schools in previously disadvantaged areas.

The Thandulwazi-Rokunda Teacher Workshops are held on 11 Saturdays a year and cater for over 600 educators, teaching in Grades R to 9. Teachers come from schools across the Gauteng province, as well as from as far afield as Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Northwest and even KwaZulu-Natal.

“Without the wonderful assistance of companies such as Datacentrix these teacher workshops would not be possible. The joy and excitement on teachers’ faces when using a computer for the first time or participating in collaborative discussions about coping with large classes or discipline issues at school are a privilege to behold,” says Karen Walstra, director of the Thandulwazi-Rokunda Teacher Workshops.
“Thandulwazi is ubuntu in action,” says Jeska Mnguni, one of the teachers who has benefitted from the Thandulwazi teachers’ programme. Mnguni, a Foundation Phase teacher from Mdelwa Hlongwane Primary School (Soweto), has attended the teacher workshops for the last two years. When describing the impact that Thandulwazi has had on her career, she comments that “Thandulwazi has made me fall in love with teaching all over again. Long may Thandulwazi continue to thrive and help myself and others.”

Datacentrix has provided essential CSI funding in 2010 and 2011 for the Thandulwazi-Rokunda Teacher Workshop Programme. Backwell notes that “the expansion, impact and reach of the Thandulwazi programme would not have been possible without funding from corporate donors, such as Datacentrix, whose commitment to providing effective professional development and training programmes for the upgrade of teachers is commendable.”
Says Rejoice Mamphitha, Head of Human Resources at Datacentrix: “As a technology company, Datacentrix can attest to the fact that quality IT staff is becoming a scarce commodity and we believe that this is largely due to the fact that students are not receiving the solid foundation in Maths and Science at school that is needed to enter this sector, and one of the problems of national significance is that of improving basic education conditions for all South Africans.

“The Thandulwazi Academy is doing a fantastic job in addressing this issue and we have firmly put our support behind the good work that is being done by them.”

Datacentrix CEO Ahmed Mahomed states that the organisation has an appreciation for the role that business needs to play in the upliftment of communities in South Africa. “Datacentrix’ strategy has always been to focus its spend largely on education. The impact of this strategy is far reaching and has a multiplier effect as it touches not only the lives of individuals directly but also the larger communities in which these individuals operate.”

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