Solar-powered ICT hub launched to connect Joburg girls’ high school


Waverley Girls’ High School in Johannesburg was recently kitted out with a brand new solar-power ICT hub designed to provide tech and reliable connectivity to learners.

The Dell Learning Lab at Waverley Girls’, launched in partnership with the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, is the ninth solar-powered lab in South Africa and one of 11 globally.

“Dell developed solar-powered Learning Labs through a pilot phase in Nigeria in 2013. It has shaped up so well that there are now ten similar sites in Africa, as well as a new site in Colombia,”Natasha Reuben, Head of Transformation at Dell South Africa, said in a statement.

“The concept works brilliantly. Instead of throwing technology at teachers and students, we looked at how to solve their problems. Learning Labs offers a classroom supported by new technologies and is entirely self-sustaining. It adapts the digital world for them, not the other way around.”

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Through the Learning Lab, Dell provides direct technology access to more than 5,000 underprivileged students in communities where technology infrastructure is limited.

“Not only does this school struggle to compete and offer the same facilities as surrounding private schools, but it continues to strive to encourage and prepare girls to enter the ICT industry,” Dell said.

Learning Labs are constructed inside standard shipping containers, using Dell’s Wyse thin client computers and Dell PowerEdge Servers to create a computer-empowered learning space.

Solar panels take care of power requirements, while the computers use cloud technologies to run the latest Windows Office systems.

“The future of education is not for technology to lead it by the nose, but rather to empower it. If Dell’s Learning Labs are a vision of the future, education’s tomorrow looks a lot brighter,” the company said.

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