With a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills in South Africa’s education landscape, RuraTech is taking a significant step to prepare the youth for the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) world. The private company, driven by a social purpose, is leading multiple digital literacy projects, particularly targeting learners in rural and disadvantaged areas of the country.
One of RuraTech’s flagship initiatives is the digital library project, which equips schools with a mobile “tablet trolley.” Each trolley comes with 40 Windows and/or Android tablets, a teacher’s laptop, and a free offline educational server. Additionally, schools benefit from uninterrupted learning and internet connectivity through Vuma’s Fibre to School Programme, complemented by a UPS device. RuraTech’s innovation extends even further, as it provides solar-powered computer labs in 40-foot recycled shipping containers, catering to rural schools lacking traditional classrooms or access to electricity.
RuraTech’s founder and director, Jeffrey Katuruza, emphasizes the initiative’s significant impact, having benefited eight schools and over 6,000 learners with essential digital literacy resources, with more schools in line to benefit.
The partnership between RuraTech and Vuma has been instrumental in expanding the project’s reach, enabling learners to access online resources and offline digital literacy materials. Chanteline Le Roux, Principal of Fernwood Park Primary School, expresses excitement over the digital library’s introduction, which empowers teachers and students to explore new learning opportunities and enhance computer literacy skills.
Taylor Kwong, Marketing & CSI Manager at Vuma, underscores the importance of digital literacy in unlocking the potential of South African youth and bridging the digital divide. The collaboration between RuraTech and Vuma aims to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities for learners from diverse backgrounds to access ICT skills training and resources, propelling them towards participation in the digital economy.
RuraTech and Vuma’s commitment to fostering STEM education underscores the potential for future growth and development across various industries in South Africa. Looking ahead, RuraTech seeks to forge more partnerships to extend these beneficial projects to communities throughout the country.