Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  10 Apr 2012

CSI: Corporate Social Investment is Key for Education in South Af


Recent Gauteng Business News

An investment in education in South Africa is necessary. With all the challenges present, teachers and learners struggle due to limited resources and tools, resulting in a general falling of standards. Decreasing the national pass requirements to 35% will not solve this problem and it has a ‘knock on’ effect as matriculants face the challenge of obtaining university entrances, Paul Fick, Divisional Managing Director, Jasco Enterprise. Even when they do ‘make the grade’, the ‘gap’ between school and university standards becomes apparent, further making it more difficult to pass. Action is required from corporate South Africa to assist government in its efforts to improve the level of education in South Africa. Corporates need to start thinking about their investment in their future workforce to ensure that South Africa as a nation remains globally competitive.

This means raising the bar and re-instilling a sense of pride in learning and an attitude of excellence. Corporate South Africa also needs to start an investment in equipping the youth with the tools for a better education. These tools are not only to assist in combating unemployment, but also to ensure that more competent graduates are employed to strengthen our economy. Technology solutions are key enablers of these sought after outcomes. However, government alone cannot meet the educational needs of our future leaders. Corporate South Africa has to become more involved.

Social Corporate Investment Can Ensure More Qualified Employees

Incorporating investment into education technology into an organisation’s Corporate Social Investment initiatives is not only vital for improving education, it also benefits organisations directly as they can be assured of more qualified, better prepared future employees. However, simply donating money is no longer enough. Education technology initiatives need to be carefully planned by specialists, applied correctly within schools, and accompanied by continuous teacher training initiatives to empower educators to embrace new methods of teaching and inspire learners to further their education.

Although there are ongoing efforts to incorporate technology into schools, what is lacking is a solution that is specifically designed for educational facilities. The Critical Links Education Appliance is the world’s first purpose-built education server and an advised investment for corporate. A ‘school in a box’ that enables up to 3000 students to be connected on a single server and delivers an enriching educational experience with one-on-one e-learning to develop skills in the 21st century.

The Education Appliance- A Great Investment

As a holistic solution, the Education Appliance addresses planning and implementation challenges, since all of the tools that are needed are built in to the central server and students and teachers need only a basic end-point device to access this worthwhile investment. The rugged Classmate PCs that are part of this solution have been designed to withstand the tough school environment: they are spill resistant and highly robust. Intricate security has also been incorporated into the laptop style devices to ensure that should the devices get stolen they can be rendered useless, making them unable to be sold, which will prevent the massive losses due to theft. The Education Appliance, together with stimulating customised educational content developed by local partner LearnThings, offers a complete interactive learning solution that engages and empowers learners. A viable investment.

The Education Appliance is also a cost effective solution that enables any classroom to become a computer lab quickly and easily with a centralised administration facility that enables all sites to be remotely managed for ease of maintenance. For a minimal investment any corporate can deliver a full ‘classroom in a box’ complete with server, 30 Classmate PCs and WiFi connectivity. The server can also be linked into any existing computers the school may have, so the GSOP funded devices if still available, will not be a wasted investment. All the required infrastructure functionality is integrated into a single appliance, combining modern learning techniques with smart technology to help both students and teachers overcome their fears of computers. Investing in the Education Appliance lets teachers create dynamic, up to date lessons and allows learners to have convenient 24-hour access to learning resources.

Inspiring Learners with Corporate Investment

Getting the necessary technology into schools is of the utmost importance, and it is up to corporates of all sizes to get involved in an investment to ensure future success for students and business. By sponsoring a classroom, with hardware such as the Education Appliance as well as teacher training to bring them up to speed with 21st century techniques and devices means businesses can help schools to access technology and teachers to become more passionate, inspiring learners to partake in their education and their future.

Government has a roadmap for the implementation of ICT in schools, but this must be augmented by corporate investment efforts. The process needs to be sped along if education in South Africa is to be improved, and in order to do this, corporates and business need to step up to the plate and spend their Corporate Social Investment money wisely, investing not only in learners but in their future employees and in the economy as a whole.

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