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Business Connexion’s IT Lab catches President Zuma’s eye
[Jan 31st, 2012]

With the pressing need to improve education in especially maths, science and technology, the corporate social investments of South Africa’s largest black-owned provider of information and communication technology solutions, Business Connexion, are geared to support this aspect of learning for the less privileged. And these investments have impressed none other than President Jacob Zuma, who recently paid a visit to the Business Connexion IT Lab which the company has implemented near Harrismith.

According to Business Connection CSI manager Arnold Beyleveld, the IT Lab which is based on Hawkstone iSolution’s iLab technology, is a locally-developed solution which provides a complete introduction to ICT for children and adults. “It is designed for robustness and ease of use to make the fascinating world of computing easily accessible to all. Through our CSR programme, we are focused on putting quality technology equipment in the hands of learners and to date have deployed seven labs around the country with a further more planned for the short term,” he explains.

During a recent visit of the Free State provincial government’s rural development project for the Kholokoe community near Harrismith, in which Business Connexion was involved, President Zuma expressed his admiration for the facility. He noted that in a world driven by technology, a facility like an IT Lab coupled with the contributions of companies that have a strong social compass are critical to giving less-privileged children a fair chance in the world.

The self contained, fully equipped educational facility provides educators and learners in developing communities with access to a computer training environment. “It also provided President Zuma with evident satisfaction as he was very impressed with the facility and its power to effect change,” Beyleveld adds.

More than that, the President was also pleased to learn that the involvement of Business Connexion in the provision of facilities for information and communication technology training goes beyond ‘dropping and leaving’ an IT Lab. Indeed, explains Beyleveld, its approach mirrors that of its line of business operations, where support and training are an integral component of value creation. “We recognise the critical value of support for any ICT solution and so provide full maintenance and support, teacher training and development, and regular monitoring and evaluation meetings with educators to ensure good use of the IT Lab,” he says.

On top of a recently received a letter of appreciation from Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga following her visit of a Business Connexion IT Lab, Beyleveld says it is a great honour that President Zuma, too, has appreciated the power of these facilities.  Beyleveld says: “This is testament to how our involvement is impacting our developing communities in a positive way.”

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