November 13, 2023
In a world that’s becoming increasingly reliant on digital technology, access to high-speed internet has become more than just a convenience; it’s a necessity, especially for educational institutions. Recognizing this need, the South African Broadband Education Networks (SABEN) has taken a significant step forward in empowering schools by recently onboarding Bergvliet High School and providing them with high-speed broadband internet. This transformative move is set to revolutionize the learning experience for students at Bergvliet High School.
Bergvliet High School, situated in the picturesque suburb of Cape Town, is renowned for its commitment to academic excellence and holistic student development. However, like many schools across the country, Bergvliet High School faced the challenge of limited internet connectivity, which hindered the full potential of its students and teachers.
Enter SABEN, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the digital requirements of South Africa’s educational institutions. SABEN’s mission revolves around eradicating bandwidth poverty among schools and public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. They do so by providing robust, high-speed broadband internet solutions that bridge the digital divide.
The partnership between SABEN and Bergvliet High School represents a quantum leap in the school’s connectivity journey. The school has now been upgraded to a lightning-fast 100Mbps broadband connection. This transformative boost in internet speed is set to revolutionize the way students access information, engage with online resources, and collaborate on projects.
SABEN has consistently demonstrated its unwavering commitment to transforming the educational landscape in South Africa. The organization’s extensive efforts have already connected and upgraded 256 out of 283 TVET college campuses from 48 TVET colleges across the country to the South African National Research and Education Network (SANREN). And they don’t plan on stopping there—SABEN aims to connect the remaining campuses by the end of the year.
What sets SABEN apart is its tailored approach to meeting the unique needs of educational institutions. Many TVET colleges and schools, like Bergvliet High School, serve students in marginalized communities facing numerous challenges. Recognizing this, SABEN provides these institutions with affordable solutions that meet their current and future needs. During the height of the pandemic, some schools independently approached commercial connectivity service providers out of desperation for immediate connectivity solutions. However, they often found themselves paying exorbitant fees that far exceeded what SABEN charges for its services. Those who have transitioned to SABEN’s solution are experiencing significant cost savings while enjoying faster and more reliable internet access.
The impact of this initiative extends far beyond faster internet speeds. By providing schools like Bergvliet High School with 100Mbps lines connecting their campuses, SABEN is not just improving access to learning but also enhancing operational efficiency. There are fewer technology-related learning disruptions, lecturers have adequate bandwidth for their applications, and access to learning and teaching materials is expanded. In the words of Helga Watkin, the ultimate goal is to reverse the negative impacts of bandwidth poverty, supporting the learning development envisioned by the presidency to drive socio-economic growth. SABEN’s broadband initiative is a testament to their commitment to creating a brighter and more digitally inclusive future for South African students.
The partnership between SABEN and Bergvliet High School exemplifies the transformative power of high-speed internet in education. It’s a story of progress, empowerment, and access to opportunities. As technology continues to shape the way we learn and work, initiatives like this pave the way for a brighter future where no student is left behind due to inadequate connectivity. The journey towards a digitally inclusive South Africa continues, one school at a time, with SABEN leading the way by bridging the digital divide and ensuring that every student has access to the tools they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving world.
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