Rectron, a leading South African distributor of IT products, has opened a fully equipped Technolab at Ntabenkonyana SS School near Middledrift in the Eastern Cape. Over R500 000 in state-of-the-art computer equipment and infrastructure was donated and installed in the new facility by Rectron.
“Earlier this week, we were in the Eastern Cape province to continue our work under our Progressive Educational Upliftment (PEU) CSI programme to empower the youth with the right tech skills and knowledge for a digital career,” says Kutlwano Rawana, Chief of People at Rectron. “Our Technolabs initiative aims to level the playing field and ensure that all students, from different backgrounds have access to the technology they need.”
Rectron worked closely with the Ziphozihle Siwa Foundation to identify a school where a digital facility sponsorship such as a Technolab would not only benefit the learners, but that of the wider rural community. The foundation will continue to work closely with the school to ensure Rectron’s Technolab continues to have a sustainable impact long into the future.
“We are excited and welcome the initiative and sponsorship by Rectron. Access to opportunities by rural communities is most urgent at this time,” says Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa. “The sponsorship of the Technolab will go a long way in boosting the morale and add much value to what the school seeks to achieve.”
This is the sixth Technolab that Rectron has opened since the PEU initiative was first launched in 2022. After months of discussions with the teachers at Ntabenkonyana SS School and the Ziphozihle Siwa Foundation, Rectron was able to understand what the immediate needs of the learners were and deliver the right equipment that would help create a positive impact. Learners now have access to a classroom that is kitted out with state-of-the-art computers and screens as well as software. In addition to this, EcoFlow, a leading eco-friendly energy solution company, has also donated 24 DELTA series portable power stations.
“Knowing the impact load shedding is having around the country, we wanted to ensure that lessons remained uninterrupted for the learners and educators at Ntabenkonyana Secondary School,” says Joy Wu, Head of LAMEA & APAC at EcoFlow. “EcoFlow aims to empower people around the world to live, dream and explore without limits. We know that our energy solutions will further support Rectron’s PEU initiative.”
Rectron also partnered with Cricut, Scancode and AOC who sponsored various equipment and expertise to complete the Technolab, while Canon kindly donated food packs to the 488 learners at the launch of the Technolab on 16 May.
“While access to digital devices like computers is important, training and support are crucial to ensure that the Technolab lives up to its full potential,” says Rawana. “On top of the donation and installation, we will work with teachers at Ntabenkonyana SS School and the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education to ensure that they are empowered to support the institution’s educational outcomes and promote digital literacy.”
“According to a 2020 Stats SA report on education, just under a third (32.2%) of South Africans between the ages of 5 and 24 had access to a laptop or desktop. This is a troubling statistic in today’s modern age where digital skills are no longer a nice-to-have in the workplace but an absolute necessity,” says Spencer Chen, Chief Executive Officer at Rectron. “Our PEU initiative is focused on changing this statistic in South Africa’s under resourced schools and ensuring that we can create more opportunities for our country’s youth.”
Earlier this year, Rectron received the news that one of its previous Technolab recipients Tshelenkosi Secondary School in Stanger achieved a 90.3% Matric pass rate for 2022. This is a huge increase from its 2021 pass rate of 65% and demonstrates the impact digital resources can have on a school.
“I think I speak for all the learners and teachers of Ntabenkonyana SS School when I say we could not be more excited to hold our first lesson in our new Technolab,” says Charmaine Nel, Principal of Ntabenkonyana SS School. “On the surface this might be a high-tech facility, but on a deeper level this is an important investment in our community’s future. Rectron’s Technolab will be a vital tool in providing the right digital education and skills development to our learners.”
Rectron is an innovative company that distributes ICT products to improve people’s lives. Its comprehensive offering, which includes cloud, networking, datacentre, surveillance, power and end user computing solutions, enables it to provide truly end-to-end solutions to clients. Established in 1995, the company has years of experience in understanding market challenges and is constantly expanding its products and service offering through trusted partnerships with leading ICT brands. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the JSE-listed Mustek Limited, Rectron has a broad national footprint with the ability to service resellers and retailers across southern Africa. For more information about Rectron, visit: www.rectron.co.za or phone: +27 11 203 1000.