Powered by the sun: Phomolong Secondary School

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Phomolong Secondary School in Tembisa has become the first school to be connected to one of Samsung’s Solar Power Generators. The generator will power the school’s administration block, which accounts for over 90% of its total electricity consumption. Samsung also installed energy efficient LED lights to help further reduce electricity usage.

The Samsung Solar Power Generator was launched in March this year, to provide easy power accessibility at an affordable price to schools and community centres across Africa. The generator can provide power for up to eight years before batteries could require a refresh 25 years.

“I’m delighted that we are going to be cutting back on our electricity bill, which usually comes to over R8000 a month” says Mocheke Thoka, Phomolong Secondary School’s principal. “By saving this money, we can afford to do important things like infrastructure development without having to sacrifice anything. I’m excited that our students will see that alternative energy solutions are really viable and I hope it will make them think about the importance of being resourceful and using solar power in Africa.”

Phomolong Secondary School is already home to a Samsung Solar Powered Internet School, which serves as the school’s only computer lab. Earlier this year, Samsung also donated several Smart TVs and smartphones to the school to bring multimedia content into the classroom and ensure better communication between teachers.

Samsung identified Phomolong Secondary School as a suitable beneficiary for its education-related innovations due to its strong leadership, which is evidenced by the school’s consistent year-on-year matric pass rate growing from 65% to 97.5% in just two years.

Says Ntutule Tshenye, Public Affairs and Common Shared Value Manager at Samsung Africa, “Phomolong Secondary School is a good partner for us because we know that our investment will make a significant impact. Technology can do great things for schools, but unless those schools are run by committed leaders, it won’t solve anything. We’re pleased to be able to assist a school that is a shining example of what can be achieved despite the odds against it.” 

Principal Thoka says he is aiming for a 100% pass rate this year and that Samsung’s ongoing support will help him achieve this goal. “Since the Solar Powered Internet School arrived, we have seen a huge improvement in the academic performance of our students, who use the facility to do their homework, conduct online research, and to apply for bursaries at tertiary institutions. Now, the Solar Power Generator will help us free up budget which can be used for more books and supplies.”

Samsung Africa’s CSR strategy is focused on education, which it believes will be most successful by connecting its desire to improve lives with its long-term business goals in Africa. The company knows that to be sustainable, it needs to invest in African thought-leadership and ensure the development of a large pool of skilled resources. To do this, Samsung is delivering on a practical strategy under its global ‘Hope for Children’ campaign, focusing on education, rural access and connectivity, and developing programs that speak to the broader basic needs of communities. Together, these programs will help the company meet its goal of directly impacting the lives of 5 million Africans by 2015.

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