South African Schools Get Solar Power Boost to Improve Education

Jan 28. 2015

Samsung, empowering a generation through the power of innovative technology

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 28 January 2015 – Access to quality education has deterred economic growth in many ways, in part because information technology is evolving much faster than many schools can adapt. This has compelled many organisations to take a stand and use collaborative solutions to address such challenges.

Samsung Electronics South Africa is one such organisation which has invested in educational initiatives to benefit the country. “We believe that for our business to succeed, we need to foster change in the communities in which we operate. This is achieved by connecting our technology with the right partners and through investing in education to empower teachers and learners,” says Pitso Kekane, Head of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics SA.

Samsung introduced the Solar Powered Internet School (SPIS) in 2002 as part of its Hope for Children initiative. The objective of this smart innovation is to bridge the technology gap in previously disadvantaged communities and is further aligned with the company’s 2015 vision to directly impact the lives of 5 million Africans through the power of technology.

The SPIS is built in a 12-metre renovated shipping container that can accommodate up to 24 pupils and is fitted with solar panels that power the equipment inside the classroom. Furthermore, it is equipped with a 65-inch large format display screen, a teacher’s laptop, Samsung notebooks, a printer and fans to cool the container. The SPIS is transported by truck to remote areas, providing classrooms specifically designed for areas with limited or no access to electricity.

The decision to use a shipping container addresses a number of constraints, such as space, electricity supply and deployment. Samsung collaborates with the local traditional council and educational institutions to deliver on the implementation of the SPIS projects. The process of identifying beneficiaries involves research and systematic consultation with community leaders. Some of the criteria include a look at existing infrastructure, the level of access to services and the potential the classroom can deliver.

The classroom’s computer server contains educational content that covers the entire basic education syllabus, allowing the facilitator to teach any subject or grade, using the available content. The classroom is equipped with energy efficient LED lighting and an IP camera which is designed to use 3G connectivity, allowing for remote monitoring of the classroom.

In order to create a sense of pride and ownership in the community, Samsung engages parents and community members and provides them with basic skills on the functionality of this technology and its importance in the growth and development of the community at large.

“This solution is a holistic approach aimed at fast-tracking the country’s educational development and ensuring that the youth can participate on a global scale by exposing them to today’s innovative technology”, concludes Kekane.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems and semiconductors. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Digital Health and Smart Home initiatives. We employ 307,000 people across 84 countries. To discover more, please visit our official website at and our official blog at

For further information, please contact:

Pearl Ndlazi

Epic Communications

011 784 4790

079 021 5006

Andra-Lee Shimmin

Samsung Electronics South Africa

011 549 1627

082 553 2302

Debora Siyaya
Account Executive
Epic Communications (Pty) Ltd | Integrated Communications Agency
Johannesburg Office: 10th Floor, Fredman Towers, 13 Fredman Drive, Sandton, 2146 | Office Tel: +27 11 784 4790 | Mobile: +27 71 600 2674

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