News Column

MTN Donates Computers to Schools

January 29, 2014

Philippe Mwema Bahati

MTN Rwanda has given 36 computers and one year of free internet to Indatwa n'Inkesha, a school of excellence located in Huye district, Southern province. It was the first donation in a week-long campaign that will see a delegation from the telecommunications company visit various schools around the country.

Zulfat Mukarubega, the vice-chairperson of MTN Foundation, said MTN's contributions to the community go beyond business, offering computers to allow students go further in education. She indicated that this particular school was chosen for the facilities it offers, and that the computers will also be used for to benefit the surrounding communities.

The donation has a value of about Frw 28 million and will help to leverage the level of education at the school. "A country cannot develop without education, without technology," she pointed out.

Mukarubega called upon pupils and staff of the school to increase technological skills to enable them to remain excellent competitors in the labor market by using the computers and connectivity given to them. She also urged the beneficiaries to ensure proper maintenance of the equipment, and requested the school to help surrounding communities by allowing them access to these facilities.

A solution to the schools' ICT

Though it is not the first time to see a computer in Indatwa n'Inkesha School, built in 1929, formerly called Groupe Scolaire Official de Butare and the first international school in the Great Lakes region, both the staff and students in the school say the donation is a response to computer scarcity and connectivity.

Jonathan Rutayisire, a senior six student in the Math-Physics-Biology section, said that the school used to face a serious lack of computers, as the majority of the machines was not working. "You could find only two or three machines working in the whole lab and we were not all able to access a computer for our studies," he said.

Pierre Celestin Rwirangira, the headmaster of Indatwa n'Inkesha School, stated that the new computers will help boost the quality of education at the school.

"We had old computers and the replacement was slow, but the computers donated by MTN are new and the connectivity is fast. This will help to really build the real quality of education; that internet connection will help teachers and students who are also familiar with it to increase research," Rwirangira said.

The school is requested to help other schools without computers, even though their current 36 computers are not nearly enough for the more than one thousand pupils. But Rwirangira indicated that they will try to help others benefit from the donation nonetheless.

"36 computers is not a lot, as we have more than one thousand students, but we will try to help others as the lab is not always used. Others may come while there is no class in the lab and if we don't find time we can even take time out of work time to help," he said.

On her part, Christine Niwemugeni, the vice mayor of Huye district in charge of social affairs, said that the donation of computers is a solution to ICT problems in the district, where not all schools have working computers.

She indicated that the district is very thankful to MTN for that support to education and said that the equipment will increase the commitment of the school as they come at the beginning of the school year.

Niwemugeni also noted that the donation encourages the district to find other gaps in schools to be filled for maximum excellence in education.

"We request the schools to allocate a big part of their budget for ICT as it is a great priority," she responded when asked whether the district will rely on donations to advance in ICT.

According to Mukarubega, the MTN Foundation has a plan to donate computers to one school in every district. On Tuesday, Nyamata technical secondary school in Bugesera district was the happy recipient of the same donation.

Irenee Nsengiyumva, the deputy director general in charge of training at the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), said that a computer is a great tool in job creation and called upon students make maximal use of the equipment.

"A computer is a good tool that can help you become an entrepreneur without needing other equipment. It can be a solution to get from an idea to the end product," Nsengiyumva said, calling on students not to limit themselves to the curriculum but also make use of computers to develop other skills.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: AllAfrica

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