The MTN SA Foundation has unveiled a multimedia centre with 20 workstations adapted to cater for deaf, blind and partially sighted students at the Vhembe Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in Matwarela Sibasa, Limpopo.
Launched on Thursday, in partnership with the office of Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the innovative facility is expected to drive scarce skills development and support.
The R1.249 million investment includes a fully refurbished lecture room; 20 workstations with a keyboard and mouse; interactive whiteboards with accessories; high-end HD web camera and stand; instructor PC; one data projector; and one multipurpose printer.
It also includes an offline digitised educational content and interactive learning content for both multimedia centres; antivirus protection; office 365; air conditioner; training on the equipment and digitised content for a minimum of 10 staff members, and a 30GB (gigabyte) data connectivity per month for a period of 24 months for each multimedia centre.
MTN SA Foundation General Manager, Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, said the foundation, through its various initiatives, aims to bring the power of technology and a connected life to the most in need, by contributing to the national quality of teaching and learning.
She said the MTN SA Foundation has worked for the past 10 years to provide information and communications technology-driven solutions to improve and uplift the lives of poor and disadvantaged communities.
"This support includes installations of multimedia centres, support of much-needed e-learning material to rural- townships, no-fee-paying, and special needs schools.
"Historically, the MTN SA Foundation programmes have been aimed at schools, universities, and nursing colleges, but the foundation has in recent years identified a need for specialised support in the TVET colleges learning environment," Mtunzi-Hairwadzi said.
Vhembe TVET is the second college to receive a state-of-the-art multimedia centre to assist learners with their education. This as the TVET college provides holistic courses that accommodate learners, despite their physical and partially sighted limitations.
"The over-arching programmes are impressive too, catering to the needs for skilled artisans, Information Technology (IT) technicians, employees in the tourism, hospitality fields and training engineering-related studies identified by the Minister of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
"We decided to jump in and offer further specialised support for these programmes. The multimedia centre has been modified to provide computer-aligned zoom text and jaws software programmes for the partially sighted students and specialised software programmes installations for deaf students," Mtunzi-Hairwadzi said.
"In this increasingly digital world, we are pleased to expand this support to TVET colleges to do our part in ensuring that students are equipped and excited to enter the job market of the future, "Mtunzi-Hairwadzi said.