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South Africa: ‘Smart Pen’ Clinches Tech Contest for Village School
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 01, 2013

Rhabela was one of five schools from Xihosana village that competed in the Techno-Girl Programme provincially.

Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said the programme had been brought to the village as a response to a number of challenges that affected the community, which were presented to her by stakeholders at a community dialogue meeting that took place in August 2013.

Thabethe was impressed by the energy showcased by the girls and their hunger for knowledge.

“The creative concepts that I have been exposed to bear testimony to that. We need not fail the Xihosana girl child,” she said.

Thabethe said other concept designs that impressed her the most were the ‘Xihosana Internet on the Move’ design by John Mbhedle Secondary School and the solar-powered pouch for cell phones, presented by Photani High School.

Thabethe said skills development and entrepreneurship training of the girl child were critical interventions required to ensure that women participate fully in the mainstream economy of the country.

“We envisage that this initiative will lead to a reduction of the vulnerabilities of the girl child, especially those from the lower socio-economic levels. It will present them with opportunities to lift themselves out of the economic hardships,” she said.

Rhabela was awarded a 4-in-1 printer and photocopier machine, and as part of their prize winnings, learners will attend the dti’s 2014 Budget Vote in Cape Town. The winners will also accompany Thabethe to the 2014 Annual Global Summit that will be held in Paris.

The Techno-Girl Entrepreneurship Programme is implemented in partnership with the provincial Departments of Economic Development and Education, as well as the Small Enterprise Development Agency, Cell C and Denel Dynamics.
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