tuXlab plans mega install in Eastern Cape

By   |  July 29, 2005

Computers are increasingly playing a bigger role in the education of our youth and yet a large percentage of learners in South Africa don\’t have access to computers at home or at school.

Come August though, learners of 12 Eastern Cape schools will join the growing number of tuXlab schools around the country. tuXlabs are low-cost Linux-based school networks that have been rolled out with great success in the Western Cape by the Shuttleworth Foundation over the past couple of years.

On August 13 a group of organisations will be collaborating to install 12 new tuXlabs. And they\’re hoping to do this in just three hours.

The organisers say the \”mega install\” is both an attempt to better previous installations in the Western Cape where 10 laboratories were installed on one day, as well as being a strong indicator that the tuXlabs programme has arrived in the Eastern Cape.

tuXlabs uses open source software to provide learners with access to curriculum-based educational content as well as the opportunity to learn basic computing skills.

The foundation\’s Hilton Theunissen says they use open source software because it allows for freedom of choice and reduces the setup and maintenance costs of computer labs and is freely available with no annual licencing fees.

Recently, as a part of the drive to bring tuXlabs to the EC, the Shuttleworth Foundation reached an agreement with the Ubuntu Education Fund, which will see the two parties sharing resources to enhance the growth of the tuXlab program in the EC.

Theunissen says “the Ubuntu Fund collaboration has strengthened the tuXlab program in the EC and Theunissen further feels that the program has gained added momentum due to the support of the Department of Education.”

The MEC for Education in the Eastern Cape, Mkangeli Matomela, also be participating in the day by visiting some of the schools during the installation.

Other companies who have come out in support of the 13 August install day are Engen who will be providing 300 computers to the tuXlab program and Computers4kids who will be providing curriculum based learning programs for use in the labs.

On the day BayFM community radio station will also be doing a live broadcast from one of the schools to keep their listeners informed of what is happening on the day.

Volunteers from the Port Elizabeth Linux User Group (PELUG) will be assisting throughout the day.

The schools who will be receiving tuXlabs on 13 August are:

Nzondelelo High School
Gqebera High School
Kwazakhele High School
Kwamagxaki High School
Sivuyiseni Higher Primary
Ben Nyathi Primary
Emafini Primar
Emfundweni Primary
Henry Nginza Primary
BJ Mnyanda Primary
Emsengeni Primary
Kama Primary

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