Workonline Communications commits to provide internet facilities to centers of excellence in South Africa
Workonline Communications, a pan-African, global Network Service Provider, has increased its long-term commitment to providing Internet facilities to Afrika Tikkun Centres of Excellence across South Africa.
The five centres, which benefit over nine thousand young people, will receive an impressive connectivity upgrade thanks to the commitment of the Workonline team, bringing them in line with world-class academic institutions.
Workonline Communications has been generously providing Internet connectivity to all five centres since 2016. The upgrade, which requires some intricate logistics considering the location of the centres, will significantly improve the Internet speed and educational experience of the youth who attend the centres.
Although Workonline doesn’t provide commercial enterprise services in its usual course of business, the leadership of Afrika Tikkun, under direction of the Lubner family, as well as Edward Lawrence and Ben Maddison who founded Workonline Communications, both share a commitment to excellence and a passion for helping South Africa become a world-class nation worthy of all who live in it.
Afrika Tikkun’s centres of excellence are little worlds unto themselves; vibrant spaces where information relating to education, skills, careers and life is shared. Aware that the kids of today live in a world increasingly characterised by digital interconnectedness, Afrika Tikkun’s centres also attempt to carve out technological hubs where information is just a click away.
To meet the needs of an adapting generation, Afrika Tikkun’s Cradle to Career 360° model includes the use of computer labs and multi-media rooms that are integral resources for those in the Children and Youth Development Programme (CYD) and Career Development Programme (CDP) respectively. However, their efforts to transform their centres into spaces that truly reflect 21st century technological efficiency has not always matched their vision, largely due to limited bandwidth. This has compromised the ability of their young people to access and share information quickly, explore the potential of innovation and participate fully in local and global communication platforms. Poor bandwidth has also impacted the running of the centres more broadly.
The growing partnership between Afrika Tikkun and Workonline Communications has addressed this and will undoubtedly have a significant and positive impact on Afrika Tikkun’s young people and the South African economy.
Although, admittedly, connecting the centres at such high speeds has been a challenge for the Workonline team due to the physical locations of the centres, we have worked tirelessly and persevered to ultimately achieve the desired result. Through this extension of the partnership, the quality of the Internet service at Afrika Tikkun’s centres will be on par with other leading academic institutions in the world.
CEO of Afrika Tikkun Services, Onyi Nwaneri says, “The expected changes we anticipate with this upgrade will make the lives of our children and young people so much better, which is our goal. For some time, our centres have been unable to utilise certain equipment as a result of slow Internet connectivity. The generosity of Workonline will certainly change this and the potential impact of utilising a full complement of equipment in a centre is an exciting unknown”.
Instead of having to divide and rotate the time allocated for Internet use between different groups, more children will be able to use the equipment at the same time. The accelerated Internet speed will allow for broader and more efficient online searches, enriching the learning experience and improving learning outcomes. This will also allow for further implementation of e-learning skills programmes that will improve the ability of young people to increase their skills, search for jobs and potentially transition to employment or self-employment. At the level of centre management, better internet connectivity will ensure administrative tasks and communication are streamlined.
“Access to the Internet is such an incredible enabler,” says Edward Lawrence, co-founder and director of Workonline Communications. “In fact, most of the academic knowledge I have today I have learnt from having access to the Internet! The Workonline team’s commitment to continuously improving the Internet experience across communities in South Africa, and indeed across sub-Saharan Africa, is based on this premise. Our partnership with Afrika Tikkun allows us to play a small part in helping communities to share skills, best practice and training and ultimately, extend the incredible impact that Afrika Tikkun already has on the South African economy.”
It remains undeniable that organisations must develop their capacity to operate effectively in a digital space. Our children, the majority of whom make up Generation Z or post-millennials, must be equipped with the skills to engage effectively in the cyber environment, draw as much helpful information as possible, and connect with like minds across the country, region and world. Afrika Tikkun and Workonline are about to make this happen.