Do more for education, South African ambassador tells firms

JUBA, South Sudan (JUNE 1, 2015): South African firms operating in the country should do more to foster a conducive learning environment for pupils in schools, the South African Ambassador, Gabriel Setlhoke, has said.

Setlhoke said this at the launch, Monday, of 21 Days of Y’ello Care at Seventh Day Adventist Primary, where a computer lab is being set up, making it the second public primary school to get its own Lab.

“When I went to the head teacher’s office, I nearly went down on my knees after seeing the terrible conditions within which he works,” Setlhoke said, adding that South African firms operating within the country ought to come together to improve the infrastructure in the schools. Every year, South Africa dedicates 67 minutes, one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service, to inspire change.

“MTN and our companies must use that 67 minutes. I think they can do something to help. I have been talking to the minister of Education, since the time he was the representative of the SPLM to South Africa, to find ways and projects that can improve the conditions of learning.”

The 21 days of Y’ello care is a program that encourages MTN staff to be involved in the communities in which the firm operates. This year’s theme is in line with the company’s vision of fostering ICT through education.

“We believe the young will embrace this technology, which comes with the knowledge economy as a well,” said Philip Besiimire, Chief Executive of MTN South Sudan.

Pupils who have been exposed to ICT, CES Deputy Governor Manasseh Lomoro said, perform better academically and their achievements are tremendous. “This is a great chance to prepare our young people to walk in our shoes and do a better job than us," said Lomoro. I’m happy to be attending the same class with the Vice President of the Republic. We’re studying for our PhDs in the sunset of our lives. You know what is helping us? It is ICT.”

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