Polokwane Municipality launched its first-ever School Hackathon initiative at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Indoor Sports Complex in Seshego last Thursday.
The hackathon is an event where likeminded people get together to find business and socially-relevant solutions through technological and innovative means and is a joint venture supported by Vodacom Limpopo and the Department of Education. The involvement of Vodacom in the programme firmly plants learners into the digital era and forms part of the municipality’s Reaga Polokwane programme.
Teams of 10 Grade 11 and 12 learners from 15 schools in the Seshego cluster attended the first road show and each team had to identify three municipal service delivery challenges in their respective areas. After discussion, they had to develop solutions to address the challenges in order to improve service delivery and address concerns from the communities.
Some of the challenges identified were inadequate supply of electricity, water and sanitation, poor access to communication channels with the local authority and lack of street lights. One of the interesting solutions to the challenges was to install solar powered street lights.
To assist the teams with research, Vodacom Limpopo provided the latest available technology and briefed the learners on the use thereof.
Further road shows will be hosted in the Moletjie, Aganang, Mankweng, Sebayeng/Ga-Dikgale, City, Molepo and Ga-Chuene/Maja clusters, with the finale at Jack Botes Hall on 10 April. The winning teams from each cluster will then compete to determine the overall winner.
“We had lots of fun during the brainstorming session and I developed my skills at communicating and problem solving,” Khomotso Mbombi, a Grade 11 learner from Khaiso High School said.
Grade 12 learner from Bokamoso Senior Secondary School, Karabo Bambo said that she got a great deal of motivation from the initiative. “I am very excited and optimistic about the project and have learnt a lot about teamwork,” she said.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN